August 17, (THEWILL) – There were reasons to celebrate the transfer season for fans of Serie A giants Juventus when a long-expected transfer target Manuel Locatelli wrapped up his medicals at the Turin base of the Italian club in the early hours of Wednesday.
The last step in the process of his transfer will be to sign the dotted lines and ink his approval of the terms of the contract to make him a full-fledged Juve player. It will bring to a successful close one of the longest transfer negotiations the club has been involved in for a long time.
One reason that made it work in the end was the interest of Locatelli himself. He had decided on a move to Juve from the number of suitors intending to convince him to leave Sassuolo. When he arrived at the J Medical to undergo his medicals, it was realising his own interests in Juve as much as a successful transfer for the club.
THEWILL recalls that among the clubs jostling for the Italian the English Premier League side Arsenal, who had proposed a huge €40 million bid to Sassuolo for Locatelli, were one of the favourites to seal a move for the 23-year-old. However, it must have been an easy choice for Locatelli picking between Arsenal and Juve.
The lack of European football is one huge disadvantage for the Gunners in the transfer market and it has shown in their inability to attract the biggest names in football during the summer transfer even if they have the money to spend this time around.
It cannot be any clearer than the realisation that the Locatelli deal will reportedly cost Juventus €5m less than what Arsenal was prepared to offer Sassuolo as Juve paid €35 million plus performance-related bonuses. However, it was a deal structured similarly to what Juve did with Fiorentina to acquire Federico Chiesa last summer.
There is an initial two-year loan deal struck and the bulk of the transfer fee is kicked down the road and paid in instalments. Sassuolo will further benefit by getting a percentage of any potential sell-on fee should Locatelli leave Juventus in a future transfer to another club.
The move of Merih Demiral from Juve to Atalanta on loan also helped pave the way for the Turin club to finalise the deal to bring in Locatelli who will add to the midfield strength of the structure that returnee manager Massimiliano Allegri is building up at the Allianz Stadium in Turin.