Sassuolo’s midfield playmaker, Manuel Locatelli has had some exceptional performances at this summer’s European Championships for Italy, following on from a Serie A season of good form.
Sassuolo CEO Carnevali to Sky Sport: “Arsenal have made an official bid for Locatelli. They’re pushing hard to sign Manuel and it’s an important bid… we will see.
Also Juventus want Locatelli and we’ve a special relationship with them. We’ve a new meeting scheduled with Juve”.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 30, 2021
Fans from all over have been clamouring for their club to sign the 23 year-old, deep-midfielder, especially after he scored a brace in Italy’s group-game win versus Switzerland.
It has been reported in recent months that Manchester United are in the market for a defensive midfielder, as Nemanja Matic is coming towards the end of his career, and Locatelli, who excels in dictating the game from the base of midfield, has been mentioned.
Sassuolo’s valuation of around £34 million has also certainly garnered interest, with the likes of Declan Rice, who United have also been linked with, being valued by West Ham at £70 million and above.
But it seems now that United’s priority is Rennes’ 18 year-old, Eduardo Camavinga.
Camavinga is, of course, inexperienced at such a tender age, but has huge potential and in terms of style, lies in between Rice and Locatelli.
Locatelli tops the stats in forward passes, chance creation and long-balls, whereas Rice is slightly superior in defensive contribution and dribbling. But Camavinga, for his age, is impressive defensively while also being slightly better than Rice in forward passing and attacking third dribbles.
Per 90 minutes, Camavinga averages over four tackles per game, compared to Rice and Locatelli’s two.
With Arsenal now seemingly taking the lead in advancing for Locatelli, United may miss out on a talented, needed midfielder, and for a good price.
But, if the rumoured fee of around £40 million that Rennes would accept for Camavinga is true, then it may also be the case that United see more value in the potential of the young French box-to-box over the longer term, and certainly compared to the price-tag of Rice.
Real Madrid have been linked in the past with Camavinga, but with their reported financial difficulties, they may need to limit their spending this summer by reducing their list of targets.