Manuel Locatelli has turned down an opportunity to sign for Man Utd but Arsenal could still land the Juventus midfielder, according to reports.
The Italy international joined the Old Lady on a two-year loan deal from Sassuolo in 2021 with Juve having the obligation to buy him for €25m at the end of the loan.
Locatelli played 43 times in all competitions last season for Juventus with the 24-year-old starting 23 Serie A matches.
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He has started six of their eight matches so far this term in Serie A with Max Allegri and his coaching staff currently under pressure with Juventus seventh in the table.
Man Utd were looking for a new midfielder for much of the summer with Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong initially their top target before deals for him and Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot collapsed.
The Red Devils eventually brought in Casemiro from Real Madrid for £70m but the Brazilian is yet to start a Premier League match for Erik ten Hag’s outfit.
Calciomercato insists that Juventus are Locatelli’s boyhood club with his feelings on the pitch ‘more intense’ since moving to Turin and for that ‘heartfelt reason’ he ‘politely declined a proposal from’ Man Utd.
Locatelli ‘wants to help them get back to the top’ but Juventus view him as ‘important but not essential’ to their plans going forward.
The Italian website says that means that ‘if a good offer were to arrive from the market it would be taken into consideration’ with Arsenal keen on the Italy midfielder.
On Arsenal’s interest, Calciomercato add that it’s ‘too early to talk about a real negotiation but there remains a trace to follow’ for the January transfer window.
Man Utd could’ve done with another midfielder on Sunday as they were destroyed 6-3 by local rivals Man City with Roy Keane criticising Christian Eriksen and Scott McTominay.
On United’s performance, Keane told Sky Sports: “It’s like the game is too big for them. I almost can’t believe what I’m watching.
“There’s maybe a lack of belief. We gave them some plaudits before the match and there were question marks about the players Man City were missing.
“But with the quality City have shown, it’s been easy for them.”
Keane added: “And as poor as they’ve been defensively their passing’s been sloppy, there’s gaps everywhere. The two lads in the middle – McTominay and Eriksen – are getting pulled everywhere.”