Coming out of a January transfer window in which Juventus didn’t do much business for very obvious reasons, much of the roster decisions that have either already been made or are to be made have to do with those currently wearing bianconero and only that.
Turns out, it looks like one of the expected moves has already been done.
According to reports earlier this week, Juventus has already seen Locatelli’s loan deal become a permanent one, with the buy clause being exercised following the first game of the 2023 calendar year. Locatelli, who was the second of two major signings on loan-with-option-to-buy formulas for Juve in as many summers, will cost the Bianconeri €25 million with another €12.5 million in potential add-ons heading over to Sassuolo as part of the deal that was originally agreed to in August of 2021 after (roughly) 567 meetings between the two sides.
So, the expected has already happened. None of this — i.e. Locatelli becoming a full-on Juve player — is a surprise at all. Although not officially announced by the club and done in the kind of formula we might not have been expecting it to be in, Locatelli’s loan spell appears to no longer be a loan spell whatsoever.
Previous reports have suggested that Locatelli will receive a contract through 2026 (as well as a nice little raise) whenever Juve did exercise their buy option and make the 25-year-old’s deal permanent.
With Juventus’ legal troubles currently hanging over the club and so much of the roster basically uncertain because of potential moves that might have to be made, Locatelli is being viewed by some as a player who can be somebody to help the Bianconeri get out of this mess. At the very least, the talk surrounding Locatelli over the last week or two has been about how he can be one of the Italian players in which Juve could count on to stick around no matter what state the club’s finances are in.
It helps that he’s a boyhood Juventino and pushed Sassuolo for this move two summers ago no matter how many meetings the two sides had to hold to get the job done.