According to reports, West Ham United have joined the race for the signing of Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli.
THE LOWDOWN: CONTINUED CHASE
Arsenal have been in pursuit of the Italian midfielder for a while now. A report emerged after the summer transfer window suggesting that the Gunners will go in for the Italy star in the winter market.
Mikel Arteta and his side have been trying to sign a midfielder after the injury to Mohamed Elneny and the fitness issues of Thomas Partey, and Locatelli was on their list.
However, it now appears that there is a fellow capital competitor ready to do battle with the Gunners for the services of the Italian midfielder.
THE LATEST: WEST HAM IN THE PICTURE
West Ham are preparing to rival Arsenal for Locatelli, with increasing reports indicating that he may be unsettled and unhappy at Juventus.
According to Il Bianconero, the Irons could be interested in signing the 25-year-old. Arsenal are long-term suitors of the midfielder, who is currently finding game time difficult to come by in Turin.
Locatelli is one of Europe’s most coveted midfielders and played for the Italy team which won Euro 2020. However, many stories indicate the midfielder might be unsettled at Juventus, as Massimiliano Allegri does not see him as a regular starter in his team.
Arsenal id mentioned as a possible destination. The Premier League club missed out on the midfielder in the summer of 2021 when he moved to Juventus, who signed him on a two-year loan with an obligation to buy for a reported €40m (£35.3m).
Il Bianconero claimed that the Turin giants will not be willing to sell Locatelli below his purchase price, although clubs like Arsenal and West Ham have been alerted by his situation, and whether Juventus are open to selling him in January remains to be seen.
THE VERDICT: A DECISION HAS TO BE MADE
Locatelli appears to be an excellent option for Arsenal in the market, although one thing is clear – the Gunners need to bring in a new midfielder and a decision must be made by Mikel Arteta and the club’s board.
Leicester’s Youri Tielemans and Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz have also been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium. These two players have Premier League experience as an edge, and that might play a role in Arsenal’s decision as to which midfielder they pursue in January.