The vast majority of Juventus fans breathed a huge sigh of relief this week, when Juventus finally announced the signing of Manuel Locatelli.

The Euro 2020 winner will enhance Max Allegri’s squad ahead of the start of the new campaign, and could take part in the club’s Serie A opener against Udinese on Sunday.

The 23-year-old left Sassuolo in favor of the Old Lady after two months of extended negotiations between the two parties that left the fans tired from the transfer saga.

Nonetheless, the player’s agent revealed that the first flames started long before the saga appeared on the headlines. In fact, he says that it dates back to more than a year.

“The truth is, we’ve been working on this for a year-and-a-half, not two months,” agent Stefano Castelnuovo told Tuttosport as translated by Football Italia.

“Fabio Paratici already wanted Locatelli last season, then Federico Cherubini did well to finalize the move this summer. It was anything but simple, as Sassuolo and Giovanni Carnevali proved themselves to be very good sellers.”

Some were surprised to read that Locatelli’s initial two-year loan move is for free, but the agent insists that Sassuolo absolutely didn’t give him away cheaply.

“Anyone who thinks Carnevali gave Manuel away to Juventus hasn’t read it properly. Completing a transfer of this magnitude, at almost €40m, during a dramatic economic moment for clubs all over the world, and in particular Italian football, was anything but easy.

“In all honesty, I never feared the whole thing might collapse. Juventus always wanted Locatelli, while Cherubini proved himself to be a patient negotiator. He was clear with us from the first day: Manuel is our priority and sooner or later we will sign him.”

Castelnuovo also confirmed that the former Milan man wanted to join Juventus above all other suitors.

“Manuel wanted Juventus at all costs, his adventure starts now. He was overjoyed when signing the contract, but also exhausted. It was a long wait.”