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Report: Arsenal a 'surprise destination' for £35m midfield star likened to Xavi
Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Report: Arsenal a 'surprise destination' for £35m midfield star likened to Xavi

Arsenal have emerged as a ‘surprise destination’ for Juventus ace Manuel Locatelli, according to Calciomercato.it.

The Gunners looked to strengthen their midfield ranks late in the summer transfer window, but to no avail.

With Mohamed Elneny out for months, Arsenal could do with reinforcements in January.

Photo by Daniele Badolato – Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

However, the Calciomercato.it report – via Sport Witness – claims the Gunners are potentially looking further ahead.

And Locatelli, one of Serie A’s most talented midfielders, could potentially be in Arsenal’s sights this summer.

The Italy international joined Juve a year ago on a two-season loan with obligation to buy for £35million.

However, he has seemingly struggled to impress Juve manager Max Allegri, leading to speculation over his future.

Calciomercato.it claims Arsenal have been on Locatelli’s trail ‘for a long time’.

The Gunners missed out last year as Juventus struck a deal with Sassuolo over the 24-year-old.

Now the London side ‘could suddenly return’ for his signing, added the report.

That said, Calciomercato.it speculate that Locatelli to Arsenal is a possibility for the summer, rather than January.

They claim the player could only show ‘flashes’ of his quality at the Bianconeri.

That makes his departure a real possibility at the end of the season.

Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Can Gunners land Xavi 2.0?

Arsenal seem fairly settled in midfield at present, but there’s certainly scope for Mikel Arteta to bolster his ranks.

Elneny and Albert Sambi Lokonga have struggled to meet expectations at the Emirates at times.

Meanwhile, Thomas Partey has struggled with injury problems ever since moving to Arsenal two years ago.

Locatelli, one of the most highly-rated midfielders in Serie A, wouldn’t be a bad shout for the Gunners.

He is versatile, good with the ball, has a superb work-rate, likes to play long passes, and is strong in aerial duels.

Locatelli has also drawn comparisons with the likes of Xavi and Miralem Pjanic.

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