With Juventus now seemingly keen on re-signing Miralem Pjanic, Liverpool should make Manuel Locatelli their No 1 midfield target.
Midfielder Locatelli is destined to leave Sassuolo this summer after another outstanding season.
Juventus have been heavily linked for the last few months by the likes of Goal. It seemed inevitable that he would end up at Turin for next season.
However, Gazetta Dello Sport are now reporting that new Juve boss Max Allegri wants to sign Miralem Pjanic instead.
The report claims that the Italian manager believes that Pjanic is “safer” than Locatelli.
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Allegri and Pjanic were key reasons for Juventus’ Serie A dominance over the last 10 years. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see them link up again to try and reestablish that dominance.
With this news, Locatelli will now be available to other clubs.
In RTK’s opinion, Liverpool should do their utmost to try and get him.
Locatelli would be perfect in the Liverpool midfield
With Gini Wijnaldum leaving, Liverpool need to buy at least one midfielder.
They cannot rely on the availability of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Naby Keita, while James Milner will turn 36 halfway through the season. Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Thiago have had a fair few injury issues too.
Not signing at least one No 8 would be incompetent and could see us with another issue like we had with centre-backs last season.
If they decide to sign a like-for-like replacement for Wijnaldum, Locatelli would be perfect.
He usually plays as part of a double-pivot, so he could play as both a No 8 or a No 6 for Liverpool, much like Wijnaldum did.
In fact, he is quite similar stylistically to Thiago. He is good in deep areas and has an excellent brain which he uses in both an attacking and a defensive sense.
Locatelli’s touch is immense and he glides past players when he decides that it is time to do so. Yet he also works incredibly hard for the full game.
He puts up elite numbers for passing, as well as excellent numbers for dribbling and ball-winning.
Certain fans may prefer a more attack-minded midfielder that will get goals and assists, but if Jurgen Klopp decides to maintain his deep-lying 8 system, then Locatelli would be a great get for Liverpool.
Having only turned 23 in January, there is lots of improvement still to come. Despite his age, he often wears the captain’s armband for his side.
Add the fact that he only has a year left on his contract and is available for a bargain £34m (Goal), and the ex-AC Milan man seems ideal for Liverpool.