Arsenal could reportedly reignite their interest in Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli in 2023 after failing to add to their engine room in the summer.
Locatelli is still technically on loan at the Bianconeri from Sassuolo, who were inundated with offers for the Italy international at the end of the 2020-21 season.
The 24-year-old was understood to have been the subject of interest from Arsenal among other Premier League clubs, but he ultimately arrived at Juventus on a two-year loan with an obligation to buy.
As things stand, the Old Lady will fork out a total of €25m (£21.8m) next summer, providing that Locatelli hits various performance-related objectives to trigger the clause to make his stay permanent.
The former AC Milan youngster immediately became a regular in the first XI under Massimiliano Allegri, who has supposedly been left less than impressed with his contribution so far.
According to Calciomercato, Allegri would not be averse to Locatelli making a swift exit from the club next summer after making it clear that the midfielder would drop to the bench if he was blessed with a fully-fit squad.
Allegri is said to have been left disappointed with Locatelli’s inability to “make a difference” in matches so far, and Juve will entertain offers if his form does not improve drastically in the coming months.
The report adds that Arsenal could therefore try again for Locatelli after failing to prise him away from his homeland in 2021, with Mikel Arteta determined to bring a new midfielder to the club.
Locatelli – who remains under contract at Sassuolo until 2024 for the time being – has three goals and five assists under his belt from 49 games in a Juventus shirt and started 23 Serie A games last season.
Paul Pogba‘s serious knee injury saw Locatelli start his side’s first five games of the new Serie A season, but he has missed their recent clashes with Salernitana and Monza due to an issue of his own.
Locatelli has also missed out on a place in Italy’s squad for September’s Nations League games due to his injury, and Arsenal boss Arteta has been dealing with a number of similar problems in the midfield area recently.
Thomas Partey returned from a thigh injury in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Brentford, but the Ghana international has been plagued by a number of fitness woes during his time at the Emirates.
Furthermore, Mohamed Elneny will be out until 2023 with a severe hamstring problem, and Arsenal unsuccessfully tried to bring in a new midfielder on transfer deadline day.
Aston Villa are believed to have rejected three bids from Arsenal for Douglas Luiz, but the Gunners are being tipped to reignite their interest in the soon-to-be free agent in January.
Palmeiras starlet Danilo is thought to be another name on Arsenal’s midfield shortlist, and Arteta’s side were also linked with a move for ex-Lille midfielder Xeka, but the Portuguese lynchpin has now joined Rennes.