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Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Mauro Icardi and Manuel Locatelli

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2016

EMPOLI, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 21: Mauro Icardi of FC Internazionale reacts during the Serie A match between Empoli FC and FC Internazionale at Stadio Carlo Castellani on September 21, 2016 in Empoli, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Inter Milan captain and reported Arsenal target Mauro Icardi is said to be on the verge of signing a new deal with his current club.

That’s according to his wife and agent, Wanda, who told Tuttomercatoweb (h/t Football Italia) that an announcement on an extension isn’t far off: “Is the renewal a matter of days? I’m being honest, I don’t know. I think it’s all done now though, we’re happy.”

Icardi was linked with a move to the Gunners during the summer, as manager Arsene Wenger sought to bolster his options up top, per the Star on Sunday (h/t the Sunday Mirror). Eventually the Gunners landed Lucas Perez from Deportivo la Coruna, although he’s struggled to make an impact in the nascent stages of his career at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal moved to sign Perez in the summer.
Arsenal moved to sign Perez in the summer.Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The Inter man would have represented more of a marquee capture, as he’s long been one of Serie A’s most prolific goal-getters. Here’s a glimpse of what he can offer:

In the past there have been questions over Icardi’s attitude and whether the temperament is there for him to become a world-class operator. However, we’ve seen a more mature side to the former Sampdoria man in his displays so far in 2016-17.

While last term was one of ups and downs, Icardi looks comfortable donning the armband at last. WhoScored.com noted just how effective he’s been in the final third:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Mauro Icardi: Has scored or assisted 8 of Inter's 9 league goals this season #RomaInter

Icardi is different in style to someone like Perez, as he’s a more stationary operator in the final third. The Argentina man may not run the channels for a full 90 minutes, although his work on the ball is refined and his movement in the penalty area is very sharp.

After so much speculation, Inter will be delighted should their captain commit. Meanwhile, if Arsenal still preserve an interest in the player, it looks as though it'll be a lot more difficult to tempt him away from the San Siro.

              

Gunners Move for Manuel Locatelli Revealed

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 02:  Manuel Locatelli (R) of AC Milan celebrates his goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and US Sassuolo at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 2, 2016 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

According to Calciomercato (h/t Dipesh Agarwal of Sport Witness), Arsenal were thwarted in their attempts to sign Manuel Locatelli from AC Milan during the previous transfer window.

It was suggested that the Gunners made a play for the 18-year-old starlet ahead of the campaign, although Rossoneri boss Vincenzo Montella and vice-president Adriano Galliani were able to convince the Italian youth international to stay in Milan.

The teenager is rated as one of the top prospects in Italian football and showcased his quality on Saturday. With Milan 3-1 down against Sassuolo, the elegant midfielder was introduced from the substitutes bench and helped inspire a remarkable comeback, bagging the third goal in a 4-3 triumph.

Here’s a glimpse at what the midfield man, who is “modelled on [Andrea] Pirlo,” according to Agarwal, can conjure:

While a manager like Wenger would be ideal for the development of a player like Locatelli, Milan seems a suitable environment for him at this juncture. Per ESPN FC’S David Amoyal, he’s one of a selection of young stars at the San Siro:

David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal

What an incredible comeback for Milan- Locatelli joining their young core of Donnarumma, Niang and Romagnoli too

For a player looking to refine what remain malleable attributes, the Premier League would represent an unforgiving landscape. As such, continuing to cut his teeth in Serie A is the most sensible course of action for the playmaker.

Intelligent on the ball, spatially aware and extremely gifted in his passing range, it’s no surprise there have been some comparisons with Pirlo. Provided Locatelli continues to develop, there is the sense that Arsenal will retain an interest in bringing him to club.

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