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Reports: Juve, Sassuolo agree fee for Manuel Locatelli, but deal still not closed

Progress, but still not done yet.

Italy v England - UEFA Euro 2020: Final Photo by Paul Ellis - Pool/Getty Images

At this point, the major breaking news will be when Juventus and Sassuolo don’t have another meeting scheduled to discuss their lengthy and complicated Manuel Locatelli deal.

I guess the good part is that there’s another meeting scheduled and that Sassuolo, despite how many times they’ve said no over the last couple of weeks, is still willing to talk.

The latest (and who knows if it’s the greatest) meeting has seen at least some kind of development take place, with a €35 million fee plus bonuses being agreed upon, according to multiple reports coming out of Italy. The sticking point is essentially the same sticking point from the previous handful of meetings — just how the deal is going to be structured, with Juventus adamant about the deal involving a two-year loan deal and Sassuolo wanting a one-year loan with an obligation to buy next summer.

Sky Italia has also reported that Sassuolo is expected to give its “final answer” to Juventus regarding the Locatelli deal on Tuesday, maybe as early as around lunchtime in Italy.

Let’s hope that “final answer” that may or may not actually come down has positive news attached to it rather than forcing us to wait another day for an actual final answer.

Regardless, this is a long and drawn-out negotiation that appears to be entering its final stages with the €35 million fee being agreed to. The money, for weeks, was the sticking point. Now that looks to be out of the way. Now, it’s a matter of how the deal will be structured with an option or obligation to buy to be hammered out as well as just how long the initial loan deal may be.

This is basically a huge part of the financial crunch that Juventus is currently in. Normal summers would see them fork over €35 million or so and that would be that. But, because of the extreme nature of which the pandemic has put the club into both this summer and last summer (and maybe next summer and the one after that), Juventus has to try and get as creative as ever when it comes to spending the limited resources they now have.

That means a negotiation that probably would have been pretty simple in “normal” years — remember, Locatelli has maintained for weeks now that he wants Juventus and only Juventus — is anything but that in the summer of 2021. Now we hope that whenever the last meeting happens that there’s a positive outcome and Locatelli can get the deal he so obviously wants to see take place. (As do we, Loca, as do we.)