By Nick Ware

10th Jul, 2021 | 6:10am

Fabrizio Romano delivers verdict on Leeds United chances of signing Manuel Locatelli

Fabrizio Romano has cast doubts over whether Leeds United will be able to sign Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli this summer.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported on Thursday [08/07/21] that Leeds director of football Victor Orta was in the midst of “selling the dream” to an unnamed central midfielder after signing Junior Firpo from Barcelona earlier in the week.

After Sassuolo chief executive Giovanni Carnevali told Sky Sport [via Goal] on the same day that they were in talks with an unnamed foreign club over a transfer for their midfielder Locatelli, some people started trying to connect the dots, with some theories that Locatelli could be the secret Whites target.

However, transfer guru looks to have cleared this up on his Twitch account on Friday night [09/07/21].

He said: “Locatelli to Leeds? I think it’s really complicated because Locatelli wants to join Juventus, his priority is to join Juventus so I think it will be really difficult to change the situation.

“Yesterday the CEO of Sassuolo was talking about a potential deal with a club from abroad, he was obviously talking about Arsenal.”

The Express also reported Arsenal interest in the “powerhouse” midfielder in June, with Manchester City also credited with an interest.

Fanciful

Suggestions of Locatelli gracing Elland Road in the coming months always looked to be wide of the mark.

The 23-year-old is preparing to face England in the final of the European Championship at Wembley on Sunday, after playing a key role in Italy’s march to the final stage.

Locatelli started their first two group games in the absence of PSG star Marco Veratti, and it was in their second game against Switzerland where he really caught the eye, scoring twice in a 3-0 win in Rome.

He’s been restricted to bench duty in three of the last four games after the return of Veratti, but he was a second-half substitute during Italy’s semi-final penalty shoot-out versus Spain.

With the Whites in pursuit of a midfielder this summer there are sure to be a lot of names thrown around, but after a superb season in Serie A with Sassuolo it was always likely that he was going to attract the attention of the European big-hitters, and it appears that Juventus are winning the race at the moment.

The dream is over Whites, but Orta’s sure to have more tricks up his sleeve.

In other Leeds United news, this first-team star is training alone under strict orders from Marcelo Bielsa.