Date: 25th June 2021 at 8:28pm
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With a two-day break from the action at Euro 2020, fans and pundits alike have had time to sit and reflect on an action-packed group stage. 

There were no major shocks during the first phase, with all of the pre-tournament favourites progressing to the next round with relative ease.

One team who few predicted to win beforehand, however, were Italy.

Now, with all of the teams having played three times, Roberto Mancini’s side look as likely as anyone to go all the way and win the tournament.

One of only two sides, the other being England, yet to concede a goal during the competition, Italy cruised to top spot in Group A and will now face Austria in the round of 16 on Saturday.

One player who has particularly impressed for the Italians is Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli, and it appears that his performances have not gone unnoticed.

Locatelli impressed against Switzerland, scoring twice in a 3-0 victory.

A number of clubs across Europe have since been linked with the midfielder, including Arsenal, however it appears that the Gunners could be too late.

According to Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, Arsenal are ready to launch an offer for the 23-year-old.

However, the same outlet also reports that Juventus are close to completing the signing of the player, potentially on a two-year loan deal.

Sassuolo had reportedly wanted £34 million for the midfielder, who scored twice during Italy’s 3-0 victory over Switzerland on match day two.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are also both rumoured to be interested in the player, and both sides have the ability to fund the transfer immediately.

Arsenal, meanwhile, may have a disadvantage compared to their rivals as they do not have the added incentive of European football next season.

With Italy showing no signs of exiting the competition any time soon, clubs may have to wait to get their hands on Locatelli.

 
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