Arsenal Transfer News: Latest on Mario Mandzukic and Manuel Locatelli Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2016

ROME, ITALY - AUGUST 27: Mario Mandzukic of Juventus FC in action during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and Juventus FC at Stadio Olimpico on August 27, 2016 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Arsenal reportedly asked Juventus about the possibility of signing centre-forward Mario Mandzukic during the summer transfer window.

That’s according to Corriere dello Sport (h/t Tom Coast of Sport Witness), where it’s suggested that the Gunners, Paris Saint-Germain and Shandong Luneng Taishan made an approach for the Croatia international.

It’s reported that while Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri has the likes of Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain to call upon, the Italian champions will not look to offload the former Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich man in January either. They are said to still consider the Croatian an important part of the squad.

Mandzukic showed his worth last term, netting 13 goals and leading the line with distinction. Here’s a look at what he can offer:

However, this season has been tougher, with no goals for the Bianconeri yet. Additionally, the Higuain-Dybala partnership is viewed as the long-term striker setup in Turin, meaning Mandzukic may find himself on the fringes of the first team regularly.

As we can see courtesy of OptaPaolo, when Mandzukic has been handed a chance lately, he’s been doing his utmost to make an impression:

In truth, that’s exactly the kind of footballer Mandzukic is. When he’s on the field, the 30-year-old puts everything into the game, able to work hard, pin down defenders and compete physically with any opponent. His eye for goal makes him a capable forward and someone who’d add a different dimension to Arsenal’s attack.

Even so, at this juncture, it’d be a big surprise to see the Gunners go back in for the striker. Lucas Perez has yet to be handed a run in the side, Olivier Giroud can fulfil the role of target man, while Alexis Sanchez has blossomed recently when tasked with leading the line.

         

Manuel Locatelli to Commit to AC Milan

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 02:  Manuel Locatelli of AC Milan looks on 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 the agent of AC Milan midfielder Manuel Locatelli, reportedly a target for Arsenal, the youngster is set to commit his future to the Serie A side.

“In spite of what is being said, Manuel has already renewed with Milan until 2020,” said the 18-year-old’s agent, Stephen Castelnovo, per TuttoMercatoWeb.com (h/t Dipesh Agarwal of Sport Witness).

As noted by Agarwal in another pieceCalcioMercato.com reported that the Gunners had looked to land the teenager in the summer, but he was deemed a key part of Milan boss Vincenzo Montella's plans.

After showing glimpses of exciting potential, there’s a lot of buzz about Locatelli. Here’s why many think he’s among the best prospects in Italian football:

For a player so young, Locatelli has great composure on the ball and hasn’t seemed too flustered making the step up into Montella’s side. That bodes well, as it looks as though new challenges are going to come thick and fast for the youngster, per Squawka Football:

The qualities the playmaker possesses are ones you’d associate with a quintessential Arsenal star during manager Arsene Wenger's tenure. He’s got a sharp mind, is technically brilliant and has a superb range of passing. You could envisage him slotting into the Gunners midfield with ease in years to come.

However, making such a significant switch in the embryonic stages of his career would be a little rash from Locatelli.

At Milan, chances will present themselves quicker, and with Riccardo Montolivo facing six months on the sidelines, the teenager may be handed an opportunity to cement his place in the Rossoneri XI.

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