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Edu keen to strike deal as Arsenal eye swoop to sign £34m star

Arsenal are plotting a summer swoop for £34m-rated Sassuolo star Manuel Locatelli as Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen his midfield

Manuel Locatelli

Arsenal chief Edu is keen to negotiate a deal for Manuel Locatelli as the Gunners eye a summer swoop for the £34m-rated Sassuolo midfielder, according to reports via the Mirror.

Mikel Arteta is expected to be busy in the transfer market this summer as he looks to overhaul his squad following a hugely disappointing season that saw Arsenal finish eighth in the Premier League and miss out on European qualification.

Midfield is likely to be a priority area of concern as Granit Xhaka looks to be heading for the exit door with a move to Italy mooted while Dani Ceballos has returned to Real Madrid after his loan spell came to an end.

Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock are also expected to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer so Arteta is going to need at least two new recruits in the middle of the park.

Locatelli has emerged as a potential target as the Mirror reports that multiple sources claim Arsenal are showing a keen interest in signing the 23-year-old defensive midfielder this summer.

The newspaper says Arsenal technical director Edu wants to engineer a deal to sign Locatelli but it won’t be easy as the Gunners will face stiff competition from the likes of Manchester City, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, and Paris Saint-Germain.

With so many top European clubs in the running, Sassuolo are determined not to sell their star man on the cheap and the Mirror suggests that the Serie A outfit will demand around £34m to sell Locatelli this summer.

The asking price could even increase further over the coming weeks if Locatelli continues to impress at the Euro’s as he was a central figure during Italy’s superb 3-0 victory over Turkey in their opening group stage game on Friday night.

Locatelli has become a key player for Sassuolo since joining the club in 2018 having been let go by AC Milan and the defensive-minded midfielder has all the attributes Arteta should be looking for in a replacement for Xhaka.

He would be an excellent addition to the Arsenal squad if they could win the race for his signature but that’s not going to be easy with the likes of Man City, PSG and Juventus also reportedly in the running.

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