Juventus have made the signing of Sassulo's Manuel Locatelli a priority in the next transfer window, according to a report by Gazzetta Dello Sport.
The report claims that the Italy international tops the club's winter transfer window targets. Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo wanted to sign Locatelli and Eden Dzeko during the summer but had to settle for Alvaro Morata, who arrived from Atletico Madrid.
Manuel Locatelli joined Sassuolo on loan from AC Milan in 2018 and signed a permanent deal a year later.
Since then, his development has been rapid and he is currently regarded as one of the brightest prospects in Italian football. National team head coach Roberto Mancini has already utilized him on the international scene and a move to a bigger side such as Juventus has been mooted.
The 22-year-old is an all-action midfielder who is adept at shielding the defense and launching attacks with his incisive passing. Manuel Locatelli's standout quality is his ability to set up teammates between the lines.
A lack of creativity in the midfield has plagued Juventus in recent years and Pirlo reportedly believes that Locatelli could be the solution to the Old Lady's predictable build-up play.
The report adds that Juventus are also looking for a left-sided player but financial constraints could prevent them from making a transfer. At it stands, the club will have to settle for the solitary signing of Manuel Locatelli.
Juventus' new transfer strategy of signing younger players for the future
A new trend at Juventus is the club's shift in transfer strategy. Andrea Pirlo wishes to move on from signing proven and experienced world-class players to bringing in younger players, as he keeps an eye on the future.
Recent signings like Weston McKennie, Federico Chiesa, Mattijs de Ligt, and Arthur Melo are confirmations of the shift, while the Serie A champions have also been linked to other youngsters such as Phil Foden of Manchester City.
The defending Serie A winners' reported interest in 22-year-old Locatelli is an example of this trend and the former Milan man could be a mainstay in the Juventus lineup for years to come.
The Bianconeri have not had a bright start to the Andre Pirlo era and temporarily lost the services of Cristiano Ronaldo due to COVID-19, earlier in October.
Juventus currently sit in 5th place on the table, four points behind table-toppers AC Milan. The Turin club host Cagliari in the league after the international break, before squaring up with Ferencvaros in the Champions League.Published 11 Nov 2020, 19:20 IST