Manchester United tried for Manuel Locatelli before failed Rabiot pursuit

Manchester United turned to Manuel Locatelli in their pursuit of a new central midfielder during the summer transfer window.

Italian outlet Calcio Mercato say United tried for Locatelli before moving onto his Juventus teammate Adrien Rabiot.

United chased Frenkie de Jong all summer but by the time Brentford won 4-0 in the second game of the season, that pursuit looked dead in the water.

The club moved onto other midfield targets and Rabiot was the one most extensively linked, but United wanted Locatelli first.

Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Manchester United wanted Locatelli

The Rabiot pursuit ended in failure too, due to his demands, and that is when United went in for Casemiro and got that deal done.

Locatelli did not want to leave Juventus, but if he did, perhaps he would have been United’s new central midfield recruit in Erik ten Hag’s first summer at the club.

United were linked with Locatelli last year, during Euro 2020, which his Italy side ended up winning, beating England in the final on penalties.

He moved to Juventus, but could well be available during the January transfer window, according to another Calcio Mercato report.

They report that Locatelli is not at the top of Max Allegri’s pecking order in his engine room and that has raised the prospect of a transfer.

The report claims that Locatelli knows his Juventus future is in the balance and is expecting Premier League offers in light of that.

That said, it also says that the midfielder will only leave Turin for an offer of over 40 million euros (£38.6 million).

Newcastle and Arsenal were named in the report as interested in the winter, but perhaps United could go back in for him, especially if they cannot get Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice or de Jong once again.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.