Juventus has made its biggest splash of the summer so far with a move for Euro 2020 champion and Italian midfielder Manuel Locatelli.
The 23-year-old arrives from Sassuolo on a two-year loan with an obligation to buy at the end of the period for a fee that could wind up totaling €37.5 million ($44 million), according to the club's official announcement.
Locatelli starred in midfield for Italy at the Euros this summer, helping lead the Azzurri to an unlikely title. Against Switzerland in the group stage, the former AC Milan academy product was named man of the match for his two-goal performance as Italy became the first team to clinch a spot in the Euro's knockout stage.
The deep-lying midfielder, known throughout Serie A for his work rate and quick passing, led the league last year in tackles and completed passes. Locatelli joins a crowded, but talented midfield that features U.S. men's national team star Weston McKennie, Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and the injured Arthur among others.
Sassuolo executive Giovanni Carnevalli previously told Sky Sports in June that Arsenal had made an offer for Locatelli, but Juventus prevailed in the end. Juventus has endured a tumultuous 2021 after failing to win Serie A for the first time in 10 years, which led the club to fire manager and club legend Andrea Pirlo.
Amid rumors of a potential exit for Cristiano Ronaldo as he enters the last season of his contract, Juventus has since re-hired former manager Massimiliano Allegri to return the club to glory. The Bianconeri won five straight Serie A titles and twice finished as Champions League runner-up in Allegri's first stint in Turin.
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But while Serie A's giants fail to retain their stars, Juventus appears to be in a buying mood. Following the resignation of manager Antonio Conte, defending Serie A champion Inter Milan has recouped nearly €200 million in selling players (Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea, Achraf Hakimi to PSG) to offset its debts. Inter did bring in Edin Džeko and Denzel Dumfries as more cost-effective replacements.
Meanwhile, AC Milan notably failed to come to terms with star goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was out of contract before signing with PSG. The only incoming Serie A transfer that eclipses Locatelli's fee this summer came Tuesday in Roma's €40 million ($47 million) move for Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham.
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