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Report: Juventus set to raise bid for Manuel Locatelli to €40 million

Could Juve be getting closer to securing their top transfer target this summer?

Italy Training Session and Press Conference - UEFA Euro 2020: Quarter-final Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

As has been on the record for a few days now, there is at least one English club in the running to sign Manuel Locatelli. And because of that, you can probably imagine that the original hopes and line of thinking when it comes to Juventus’ negotiation process have had to change a little bit if they want to continue to be in the hunt for the young Italian.

How much?

We might know a little bit more about that.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday morning, Juventus are set to raise their bid for Locatelli to €40 million as the club is set to meet with Sassuolo once again later this week. This comes in the wake of Sassuolo CEO Giovanni Carnevali saying that Arsenal has, to date, been the only club that has submitted an official bid for Locatelli — one that is at the €40 million price tag that has been attached to the 23-year-old midfielder ever since rumors that he will be moving to a bigger club this summer started up in the spring.

No matter who else has come forward with interest in signing him, Locatelli continues to maintain that Juventus is his first choice when it comes to which club he wants to join this summer, according to La Gazzetta.

This is obviously stemmed from what Carnevali said last week regarding the state of negotiations with Arsenal (as well as Juventus). The general line of thinking is that part of the reason as to why Arsenal are considered “in the lead” for Locatelli at the moment is that they will be able to provide all €40 million of their offer before the year is over rather than having it spread out over a potential loan fee and then fixed obligation to buy like Juventus reportedly want to do.

But, with Juve’s recent capital increase to cover the losses as a result of the pandemic, the indication being given off by some is that there’s now a little more financial flexibility than before when money was extremely tight and few transfers seemed possible. (That might very well still be the case, with Juve obviously needing to sell before doing serious business outside of Locatelli.)

Juventus’ hope is still to have the Locatelli deal will be an initial loan deal with the obligation to buy kicking come the summer of 2022. With the report of Juve’s willingness to go up to €40 million improving, the status of a player being thrown into the deal remains uncertain.

Either way, as Gazzetta says, “Locatelli is destined to become the first piece of the new (Juventus) era.” And if that’s the case, then there’s got to be a pretty good feeling that a deal can be worked out over the next few days and weeks.