Romano reiterates Arsenal would meet club’s £34.3m demand for 23-year-old, but want deal on one condition

Arsenal have reportedly made a substantial €45 million bid for Manuel Locatelli, hoping it would price Juventus out of the running for the midfielder.

According to Italian outlet Sport Mediaset, Arsenal have submitted a €45 million offer for Manuel Locatelli. As the race for the Italian midfielder picks up heat, the Gunners are hoping Sassuolo take their interest rather seriously. Such a huge offer could also be designed to price out Juventus from the race.

Arsenal are making huge strides in the transfer market. It has only been around a day since agreeing a £50 million deal for defender Ben White, and now they want to bring in other important targets. Manuel Locatelli is understood to be their primary central midfield target ahead of Granit Xhaka’s imminent departure.

The Swiss midfielder has been a regular since signing five years ago, and Mikel Arteta has identified Locatelli as the perfect replacement. The Gunners have made their intentions clear from the start, making at least one good offer to Sassuolo for the midfielder.

Locatelli remains keen to leave Sassuolo, but his preference is to join Juventus over other clubs. Although they have been unable to make a substantial offer to Sassuolo’s liking, the Turin giants are very much interested in the midfielder. A reported loan with the obligation to buy under several conditions for €30 million has been their latest offer.

Sassuolo remain uninterested in a loan deal, plus the purchase amount falls way short of their valuations of Locatelli. The Italian club’s CEO, Giovanni Carnevali, publicly pushed Juventus to make a reasonable offer by taking a cue from Arsenal’s previous offer of a reported €40 million as a pre-cursor.

The Gunners, however, are making things difficult for Juventus with a reported new, improved bid for the midfielder. The Italian media outlet is reporting a possible €45 million offer. Now, the new bid could be to show their seriousness towards bringing the player to England. Some reports suggested Arsenal technical director Edu was eager to get involved and convince Locatelli over the prospects in North London.

Alternatively, it is understood that the 23-year-old has not outright rejected the Gunners and could be showing a willingness to join if a move to Juventus fails. Arsenal could also test Sassuolo and Juventus’ resolve with their new offer and ultimately price out the Bianconeri out of the running for the midfielder.

It remains to be seen how Sassuolo respond to their bid. They might use it to put Juventus under more pressure. The Bianconeri have a task at hand to make a significant offer and end the Locatelli debate once and for all, allowing Arsenal to turn their attention towards realistic targets for their midfield.

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