After several months of slow negotiations, the gap between Juventus and Sassuolo has significantly diminished, as one of the longest transfer sagas of the summer is set to reach a happy ending.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Manuel Locatelli should become a Bianconeri player sometime during the next few weeks, and Massimiliano Allegri will finally get his midfield reinforcement.
The Old Lady’s hierarchy decided to bet on the player’s eagerness to join the club, taking all the time in the world before reaching the finish line.
This strategy will allow Juventus to snatch the former Milan man for a reasonable figure, which should be lower than the initial asking price which was set at 40 million euros.
Nonetheless, the delay might have a hefty price on the sporting level.
As we all know, pre-seasons were made for a reason. Besides giving the players time to regain their best physical shape, they are also meant to adapt with their manager’s tactical scheming during the training camp.
Locatelli might be training with Sassuolo after returning from his swift summer vacation, but few would doubt that his mind is already in Turin.
With the player and the new Neroverdi technical staff both aware of the midfielder’s imminent departure, the focus was definitely shifted towards other players.
On the other hand, Allegri has been deprived from the chance to work with the young Italian during pre-season, where the Euro 2020 winner would have absorbed some of the tactician’s philosophy, while being tested in various scenarios.
Whilst Federico Cherubini and company will be patting themselves on the back for successfully driving the price downwards, one must wonder if the long delay was worth it, especially if Locatelli fails to quickly adjust within his new environment.