Edu has already been told when Arsenal can complete £34m transfer for Manuel Locatelli
Arsenal have launched their first bid for Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli in the hope of bringing the Italy international to the Emirates Stadium this summer
Arsenal are looking to make the most of this summer's transfer window in a bid to put a disappointing 2020/21 Premier League campaign behind them.
Having won the FA Cup in manager Mikel Arteta's first season in charge at the Emirates Stadium, big things were expected of Arsenal during the 2020/21 campaign, but they failed to deliver the goods, finishing eighth in the table, meaning they will not play in Europe in this forthcoming season for the first time in 25 years.
But in a bid to avoid a repeat of that happening again, the Gunners, who kick-off their pre-season preparations against Scottish side Hibernian in less than two weeks time, are looking to complete a summer overhaul, adding several new faces to the squad.
At the time of writing, no new faces have yet arrived at the Emirates Stadium, but three deals are well on their way towards being completed. Brighton & Hove Albion centre-back Ben White, Nuno Tavares of Benfica and Anderlecht ace Albert Sambi Lokonga are all close to sealing moves to north London for a combined fee of around £75million.
Despite being set to splash out big-money on the trio, Arsenal's search for new additions is not expected to end there, as Arteta is keen to strengthen a number of other areas within his squad, one being the attacking-midfield berth.
And it would appear as though the Gunners have settled on another potential target to fill that void in the form of Sassuolo and Italy star Manuel Locatelli.
According to Sassuolo chief executive Giovanni Carnevali, the Gunners have tabled an 'official bid' for the 23-year-old and are 'pushing hard' to get a deal done, even though they face competition from Juventus.
He told Sky Italy: "Arsenal have made an official bid for Locatelli. They’re pushing hard to sign Manuel and it’s an important bid... we will see.
"Juventus also want Locatelli and we have a special relationship with them. A new meeting has been scheduled with Juve."
At the time of writing, the value of the bid submitted by Arsenal has not been disclosed, although Locatelli has a current value of around £34million.
Juventus are understood to be in the driving seat for his signature, but if the Gunners can do enough to see an offer accepted by Sassuolo they will then have the chance to discuss personal terms with Locatelli.
But when would the Italian be willing to do that?
The answer is clear: once Euro 2020 has reached its conclusion.
Locatelli was recently quizzed on his future and he made it clear that he would not be making a decision on his future until Italy's involvement in the European Championship was over. Considering that they are still in the tournament, it is possible that both Arsenal and Juventus could be waiting a couple more weeks.
Speaking last month, ahead of Italy's Euro 2020 opener against Turkey, Locatelli said: "It’s just talk. I will decide after the European Championship.
"There’s such an important competition to play in, and I’m only focused on this. I rely on what happens on the pitch, the real things, everything else is just gossip, it’s useless to talk about it."
The midfielder, who tends to operate in the No.8 position and likes to drift forward, has also admitted that he would be open to testing himself abroad, meaning he has not ruled out the prospect of making the switch to the Premier League.
Asked if he would ever consider playing outside of his homeland, the Italy international continued: "Why not?
"Playing abroad is an option for me and I’m not closing the door to anything. I don’t like to speak too much about the transfer market because that concerns my agents and the Sassuolo management.
"I don’t know whether this will be my final year here or what the future has in store. When and if the opportunities are there, we’ll evaluate them together."