Juventus could be forced to pick between Manuel Locatelli & Miralem Pjanic

Juventus may have to choose between signing Manuel Locatelli or Miralem Pjanic this summer, with the club’s budget not expected to stretch to both unless other sales are made first.

Having resurrected his club career with Sassuolo after leaving AC Milan at a young age, Locatelli has emerged as a major target since impressing for Italy at Euro 2020.

Arsenal are also interested in the 23-year-old, but his preference is known to be Juve. The Premier League side are thought to be willing to offer more and meet Sassuolo’s €40m asking price, with Juve’s initial approach taking the form of a loan plus €30m obligation to buy.

Unsurprisingly, the latter wasn’t deemed acceptable by Sassuolo, but an agreement between the two Serie A sides has since been described as ‘close’.

The possibility of Pjanic returning to Juve has also surfaced. The Bosnia international moved to Barcelona only last summer as part of a deal that saw Arthur head to Turin, a transfer arrangement designed to help ease Barça’s dire financial situation.

Miralem PjanicMiralem Pjanic

Miralem Pjanic has been linked with a return to Juventus / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

But with the Catalans still desperate to raise cash and slash wage costs in order to comply with La Liga’s salary cap rules, which currently prevent them from registering Lionel Messi’s new contract, Pjanic is one of those earmarked for sale and Juve could take advantage.

Pjanic was a success during four trophy-lade seasons in Turin and the possibility of his return has already been rumoured to have met the approval of returning head coach Massimiliano Allegri.

But Football Italia cites Fabrizio Romano to suggest that signing both midfielders isn’t possible for Juve. It might be different if Aaron Ramsey is sold to generate some cash and free up space on the wage bill, although earlier reports on Pjanic in Spain hinted that selling Ramsey could be a minimum requirement to get just one new midfielder in this summer.

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