ARSENAL have been handed a blow in their attempts to sign Italy’s Euro 2020 star Manuel Locatelli, according to reports.
The Sassuolo midfielder showed his ability on the world stage on Wednesday night by scoring twice in his country’s 3-0 win over Switzerland.
Arsenal have competition in their race to sign Andrea LocatelliCredit: Getty
The Gunners had already been tracking the 23-year-old star following his impressive campaign for the Serie A side.
Boss Mikel Arteta is eager to strengthen his midfield with Matteo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos heading for the exit door.
Sassuolo had slapped a £35million price-tag on their ace before the start of the tournament but that is now likely to rise.
The Old Lady re-appointed Max Allegri as manager this summer and is plotting a rebuild of the side that finished fourth last season.
Their interest is likely to prove bad news for Arsenal with Manchester City also reportedly paying an interest.
Locatelli played the majority of his games as a defensive midfielder last season but also played an advanced role at times.
The player was quizzed on his future before the Euros and admitted he’ll ‘have some decisions to make.’
He said: “It is normal to have rumours about the transfer market, but I will not let myself be influenced by them.
“It would be a waste of time to think about that, even though I know that after the Euros will have some decisions to make.
“I’ll decide my future after the Euros. I talked with Sassuolo board, we know what we’ve to do in July.”
⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds