For months now, we’ve been reading countless circulating news reports linking Manuel Locatelli with a move towards Juventus.

The 23-year-old is enjoying a great season with Sassuolo – who are still pushing towards a Top 7 finish that would guarantee them European football next season – whilst also becoming a key member within Roberto Mancini’s Italy squad.

Nonetheless, the Old Lady won’t find an open path for the player’s signature, as another European giant could also be interested in his services.

According to El Mundo Deportivo (via TuttoJuve), the Neroverdi star has become a transfer target for Barcelona.

The Spanish source believes that the Blaugrana are looking for a long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets, and have identified the Italian as the perfect candidate.

Similarly to the 2010 World Cup winner, Locatelli operates in a defensive midfield role, combining physical strength with good passing ability.

Besides the Catalan giants, the report also mentions Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City as another club that recently showed interest in the young midfielder.

Therefore, with such prestigious company, Juve’s ability to seal the deal is no longer guaranteed, and the player’s will could probably be a decisive factor.

Locatelli played within Milan’s youth ranks for several years before making his debut with the senior squad.

In 2018, he joined Sassuolo, and has been impressing ever since. This season, the young star contributed in three goals and two assists in his 30 appearances for Roberto De Zerbi’s side.