Sassuolo are doing the correct thing in waiting until after the Euros to sell Manuel Locatelli. That is because if Locatelli plays well — which he is very capable of doing — then an already good chunk of change coming Sassuolo’s way this summer gets even that much bigger. And for a club like Sassuolo, which relies in part on these kinds of sales to sustain its success, another €5 or €10 million in the coffer is a huge boon for the future.
So, how could Juventus ensure that Locatelli, still rumored to be a top target of the club despite the coaching change from Andrea Pirlo to Max Allegri, signs with them?
It’s getting creative in negotiations.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky Sport Italia on Monday night, Juventus could find a way to bring the transfer fee for Locatelli — one that is expected to be above €40 million at the very least — down by way of making it a swap deal of sorts. While there would still obviously be a sizable amount of money going Sassuolo’s direction, Di Marzio reports that Juve could recall 19-year-old midfielder Nicolo Rovella — who signed with the Bianconeri in January — from his current loan spell at Genoa and include him in a potential deal for Sassuolo.
Rovella is the second teenager on Juve’s books linked with inclusion of the club’s chase to sign the 23-year-old Locatelli, with youth product Nicolo Fagioli part of previous rumors earlier this year. Rovella, however, will have a larger market value than Fagioli, who has all of one Serie A appearance to his name despite the number of times he was called up last season.
While Fagioli is arguably the biggest name coming out of Juve’s academy these days, Rovella has already gotten a handful of Serie A starts under his belt after he arrived from Genoa in January as part of a three-player swap deal. Juventus paid €18 million for Rovella, which may part of Juventus-Genoa making the deal work on top of what his market value is.
But if the objective is to get Locatelli to Turin this summer, then all options have to be on the table. And if it takes included a talented youngster like Rovella in the deal, then Juventus has to consider it at the bare minimum. That’s just the conditions that surround this summer transfer window.