As much as Sassuolo is not in any kind of rush to negotiate a potential deal for Manuel Locatelli with clubs, there is a growing indication that Juventus don’t want to wait around and risk losing the talented young midfielder to a club outside of Italy. And you can understand why since Locatelli has been a reported Juve transfer target for multiple transfer windows now, and his price only seemingly to be going up as time goes on.
And how do you try and get ahead of the game?
Try and get some sort of discussions going no matter what Sassuolo’s intentions are.
With the caveat of no official negotiations getting underway, Juventus has made its first offer for Locatelli, according to Wednesday morning’s La Gazzetta dello Sport. It involves a bid of €25 million and the inclusion of a young player, something that Juve’s hoping will offset some of the big price tag expected to come with signing the 23-year-old Italian midfielder. The two players are ones you can probably figure out and are ones that share the same first name: Nicolo Fagioli and Nicolo Rovella.
This comes the day after Juventus and Locatelli reportedly agreed to personal terms on a five-year contract worth €3 million net a season.
Those two Nicos — Fagioli, 20, and Rovella, 19 — would obviously be tough to see go in the other direction if you are part of the “Juve needs to give youth a chance” camp, but could play a key role in any kind of potential deal for Locatelli. Including Rovella in any sort of deal would be a little more difficult since he is still technically on loan at Genoa and there are likely a few stipulations in the framework of the deal when it comes to sporting achievements and things along those lines. Fagioli, as you can guess, is an easier player to insert into the deal since he’s already here, but we also know that Max Allegri rates the 20-year-old who made his Serie A debut under Andrea Pirlo last season quite highly.
Either way, €25 million is far from the €40 million price tag that we continue to hear about what Sassuolo want for Locatelli. And either Fagioli or Rovella would have to have a rather favorable valuation to reach the €40 million mark ... and even then it might not be enough if one of these big spenders that have been linked with a possible move for Locatelli actually jump into the fray.
It’s obviously a deal that won’t be resolved for weeks, and the fact that Locatelli is going to be playing on the big European Championship stage means that there’s only the chance for Locatelli’s value to go up — which, as you can guess, is something Juve don’t want to see.