Journalist Pete O’Rourke believes West Ham United would pull off a “huge coup” if they signed Italy midfielder Manuel Locatelli in January.
Locatelli has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs, including West Ham, according to Il Bianconero (via Sport Witness), ahead of his potential January departure from Juventus.
Juventus have signed him on a 2-year loan with an obligation to buy him outright for ‘around 40 million euros’ next summer, and the report suggests the Italian club will not sell him for ‘anything less’. than its buyout clause”. So if West Ham want to sign him, they will have to pay an amount which will exceed his buyout clause fee.
Pete O’Rourke believes the Irons’ interest in Locatelli demonstrates the club are now “competing against the best clubs” in the transfer window. Speaking to This is Futbol, he said:
“I think West Ham are showing that they are looking and competing with the top clubs for the best signings.
“Locatelli had a bit of a disappointing time at Juventus after leaving Sassuolo.
“Arsenal have also been linked with Locatelli which just shows what type of player he is.
“It will be a massive coup if West Ham are successful in securing this signing.”
Arsenal are also closely linked with the midfield. Italian outlet Calciomercato (via The Sun) reported earlier this month that the Gunners have “reached contact” with the player and that Juventus are ready to accept an offer they consider a good one.
Locatelli is a versatile midfielder who can best be described as a playmaker with ‘traditional defensive’ qualities. Over the past year, he’s ranked in the top 17% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues and in European competition for progressive passes per 90 minutes (5.53). [via FBref]
There is no doubt that he will be an outstanding addition to the Premier League no matter who signs him.