While the status beyond this season of Juventus’ most in-form midfielder remains a total mystery to most of us right now, it seems as though the contract extension wheels are starting to spin for another member of Juve’s midfield.
Or they will be soon.
According to Tuttosport on Tuesday, Juventus are ready to hand midfielder Manuel Locatelli a shiny new contract through 2027. While talks haven’t begun just yet, Tuttosport says that it’s only a matter of time before the two sides officially open discussions regarding a new deal that would see Locatelli get a nice raise in salary as he commits his future to Juventus.
Tuttosport says it’s a deal that will likely be closed no later than early springtime.
It may come as no surprise that Tuttosport thinks the Locatelli contract will become official in the springtime because that is probably when Juventus are going to make his move to Turin a permanent one. Remember, Locatelli is still technically on loan at Juventus, with the Italian midfielder being in the second year of his two-year loan deal with the Bianconeri after arriving from Sassuolo last summer. (There were so many meetings with Sassuolo. Just so many meetings.)
Juventus has a €25 million obligation to buy Locatelli with the potential for another €12.5 million in add-ons, per the initial announcement in August 2021.
That kind of timetable would follow the path of what Juventus did when they made Federico Chiesa’s two-year loan deal permanent last year. Maybe not something that Juventus waits until the first few days in May to complete, but it’s two very similar deals following two very similar paths.
Locatelli, who will turn 25 years old in early January, entered the World Cup break on much better form compared to where he was the first couple of months of the 2022-23 season. How much this plays into the contract extension decision from Juve’s end probably just reaffirms their faith in the 24-year-old Italian since there was always going to be the obligation to buy Locatelli. But the length and the anticipated raise is what speaks volumes to Juve’s faith in Locatelli being a key component in the midfield going forward.
And because of that, Locatelli continuing to grow at Juventus is a mere formality — which, for many of us, is perfectly OK to see take place.