Journalist Pete O’Rourke believes West Ham United would be pulling off a “huge coup” if they sign Italian midfielder Manuel Locatelli in January.
Locatelli has caught the interest of 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 signed him on a 2-year loan with an obligation to buy him permanently for ‘around €40m’ next summer, and the report suggests that the Italian club will not be selling him for ‘anything less than his buyout clause’. So if West Ham want to sign him they will need to cough up an amount that will exceed his buyout clause fee.
Pete O’Rourke believes that the interest from the Irons for Locatelli demonstrates that the club are now “competing against the best clubs” in the transfer window. While speaking to This is Futbol, he said:
“I think West Ham are showing that they are looking and competing against the best clubs for the top signings.
“Locatelli has had a bit of a disappointing time at Juventus following his move from Sassuolo.
“Arsenal have also been linked with Locatelli as well, so that just shows what type of player he is.
“It will be a huge coup if West Ham were able to pull off that signing.”
Arsenal are also heavily linked with the midfielder. Italian outlet Calciomercato (via The Sun) reported earlier this month that the Gunners have ‘made contact’ with the player and that Juventus are ready to accept an offer that they will consider to be good.
Locatelli is a versatile midfielder who can be described as a playmaker with ‘traditional defensive’ qualities. Over the last year, he has 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 exceptional addition to the Premier League regardless of who signs him.