EPL

Locatelli welcomes Juventus interest after helping Italy to Euro 2020 glory

By Sports Desk July 13, 2021

Manuel Locatelli says talk of Juventus being interested in signing him is "pleasing", but the Sassuolo midfielder has not yet thought about his future after helping Italy to Euro 2020 glory.

The 23-year-old featured five times for the Azzurri in their successful European Championship campaign, including an appearance from the bench during extra time in Sunday's victory over England in the final.

He scored twice for Italy in the 3-0 group-stage win over Switzerland and had the second best goals-per-90-minutes ratio of any Italy player (0.66) after Matteo Pessina, who scored twice in four games (0.95).

Milan youth product Locatelli also won more tackles per 90 minutes (2.32) at the Euros than any other Italy player, followed by Marco Verratti (2.02) and Federico Bernardeschi (1.42).

Those displays, combined with his impressive performances helping Sassuolo to eighth place in Serie A last season, have garnered attention from Italian giants Juventus and Premier League side Arsenal.

Sassuolo director Giovanni Carnevali said earlier this month there has been interest shown by the pair in Locatelli, who is rumoured to be valued at around €50million.

But Locatelli, who has also previously been touted as a target for LaLiga duo Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, is not yet considering his next career move

"I have not really thought about it," he told Sky Sport Italia. "I've been playing for the national team and giving my best at the Euros. 

"I've had to give it my all for the Italians who have been following us, even those from afar. After these celebrations then we will see."

Asked specifically about the links with a move to Juventus, who recently reappointed Massimiliano Allegri as head coach, Locatelli added: "They're a great team. The interest is pleasing, I've always said that.

"But right now I am here with the national team, still cheering on Italy."

Locatelli missed a penalty in Italy's shoot-out win against Spain in the semi-finals and was embraced by captain Giorgio Chiellini after his side had eventually prevailed 4-2 on spot-kicks.

The midfielder was not required to step up in Sunday's victory against England but was willing to take one if called upon.

"The world was collapsing around me in the Spain game but Chiellini kept telling me not to worry because we won," he said.

"He told me the same thing yesterday. I would have taken a penalty against England, but luckily the others went before me."

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