Locatelli snubs Arsenal, Chelsea to bid for Lukaku, Barca-Romero - Five possible Serie A transfers
SportItalia and TuttoMercatoWeb's transfer market expert Gianluigi Longari has given the lowdown on some of the biggest possible transfers that could take place this summer involving Serie A players.
Following Italy’s magnificent Euro 2020 victory, numerous Azzurri and Serie A stars have suddenly been catapulted into the spotlight.
Indeed, no league performed as well as Serie A at the Euros and already a number of the Campionato’s stars have moved on to pastures news; such as Gigio Donnarumma to PSG, not to mention Achraf Hakimi to the same club and Rodrigo De Paul to Atletico Madrid.
MANUEL LOCATELLI (Sassuolo to Juventus, Arsenal or Dortmund?)
Manuel Locatelli was one of the breakout stars at Euro 2020 for Italy, scoring two goals in the win against Switzerland.
Longari says that Sassuolo have received bids from Arsenal, Dortmund and Juventus, but that the 23-year-old only wants Juve.
Longari: “I expect him to sign for Juventus. I know that Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund have made offers to Sassuolo. Sassuolo have accepted both these offers as they are economically good for them.
“But Locatelli has said no as he only wants Juventus. We are now waiting for the new contact between Juventus and Sassuolo. Juve have already made their first offer which includes some younger players in part-exchange, like Radu Dragusin. But the offer isn’t enough yet.
“In the end, though, I expect Locatelli to join Juve.”
CRISTIAN ROMERO (Atalanta to Barcelona or Man Utd?)
Romero starred for Argentina during their victorious 2021 Copa America campaign and he was arguably the best defender in Serie A last season.
Still only 23, Longari says that Atalanta have already begun preparing for potential life without him this summer.
Longari: “Atalanta decided to sign Romero a year early from Juventus. They invested €18 million and the reason for this is because they are in talks with other top clubs for this player.
“I know that Manchester United are interested but at the moment this negotiation has stopped. I also know about strong, strong interest from Tottenham and especially Barcelona.
“I believe Barcelona will make an offer when they can. But they can’t right now because they have a difficult economic situation and their focus is Messi’s renewal.
“But their first option for the defence is Romero.”
ROMELU LUKAKU (Inter to Chelsea?)
Longari also explained the latest with Inter’s difficult financial situation and was asked whether they will have to sacrifice more stars after selling Hakimi to PSG for up to €70m.
Longari: “Inter need to sell more players but it is not in their plans to sell any more starting XI players. I know that Inter are planning to keep Lautaro Martinez for another year at least and discuss a new contract.
“I know also that Chelsea are very interested in Romelu Lukaku and that they will make an enquiry for him at the least during this summer. But I believe they have no chance of signing him.
“The same for Liverpool and Man Utd with Nicolo Barella. Both would like Barella but they have no chance.
“Instead Inter will sell squad players like Andrea Pinamonti, Radja Nainggolan and Dalbert, for example.”
THEO HERNANDEZ (Milan to PSG?)
PSG have been Europe’s biggest spenders this summer, splashing the cash on transfer fees and wages on the likes of Donnarumma, Gini Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi and Sergio Ramos.
They are now being heavily linked with Milan left-back Theo Hernandez. Could this be their next super-move?
Longari: “For sure, Theo Hernandez is a player that Milan wants to keep. But PSG’s financial pits are infinite so we can never say never.
“Milan are signing Ballo-Toure, a left back from Monaco, but I don’t think he will be a replacement for Theo Hernandez but just an alternative for a long season.
“PSG are creating an all-star team though.”
LORENZO INSIGNE (Napoli to Barcelona?)
Finally, Longari commented on Insigne’s contract situation. The 30-year-old’s deal at his hometown club expires in 2022 and Longari says there have been no attempts by the Partenopei to renew his contract.
“I think it will be very difficult for him to stay at Napoli. Since January there have been no discussions between Insigne’s camp and Napoli. No discussions in 2021, no discussions after his great Euros.
“I know about strong interest from Barcelona for him, but it is very difficult for him to stay right now. If you really want your captain and main player to stay you have to begin talks and there has been nothing.”
Longari also commented on many other potential transfer deals, including Cristiano Ronaldo’s PSG links, Tottenham’s moves for Milan Skriniar and Jules Kounde, why Gigi Donnarumma left Milan, Everton’s first bid for Kalidou Koulibaly, Atalanta’s interest in Tuen Koopmeiners and Sven Botman, Granit Xhaka’s promise to Arsenal, and much, much more.