Massimilano Allegri ‘wants exciting Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli as his first signing back at Juventus’ as Italian manager looks to fix the mess in midfield left behind by Andrea Pirlo 

  • Massimilano Allegri is back at Juventus just two years after quitting the club 
  • The Italian reportedly wants Sassuolo’s Manuel Locatelli has his first new signing
  • The 23-year-old worked with Allegri when the pair were at AC Milan together
  • Locatelli has become a key figure for both club and the Italian national team

Massimiliano Allegri wants his first signing back as Juventus manager to be  Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli, according to reports.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed a promising season for the Neroverdi, who secured an impressive eighth-placed finish under Roberto De Zerbi, who has now joined Shakhtar Donetsk as manager. 

Allegri was announced as Andrea Pirlo’s replacement at Juventus manager last year, just two seasons after quitting the Serie A giants after winning five straight Serie A titles.

Massimilano Allegri wnts Manuel Locatelli (right) as his first Juventus signing, say reports

Allegri (above) is returning to Juventus just two years after leaving due to Andrea Pirlo's exit

Allegri (above) is returning to Juventus just two years after leaving due to Andrea Pirlo’s exit

And according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Locatelli is the first name on Allegri’s list as he looks to improve the Old Lady’s midfield ahead of his first season in charge. 

Allegri and Locatelli know each other well from their time at AC Milan together, with the Italian manager being the first coach to give a then-young midfielder a first taste of first-team training before departing to become Juventus boss in 2014.

Locatelli went on to play 63 times for Milan over three seasons before joining Sassuolo in 2018 on an initial loan deal with an obligation to buy.

The Italian midfielder is now one appearance shy of a century in the green and black of Sassuolo in all competitions, while he has also become a regular player on the international stage.

Locatelli (middle) has become a promising player for Sassuolo and the Italian national team

Locatelli (middle) has become a promising player for Sassuolo and the Italian national team

MANUEL LOCATELLI’S 2020-21 STATS FOR SASSUOLO

Games: 40

Goals: 4

Passes per 90: 82 

Pass Accuracy: 89% 

Passes in final third per 90: 12.3 

Dribbles per game: 2.2 

Locatelli has been capped nine times by Italy and was named in Roberto Mancini’s provisional 28-man squad for the upcoming European Championships.

The midfielder recently hinted that a dream move would be on to French giants Paris Saint-Germain following the success of Italian trio Marco Veratti, Alessandro Florenzi and Moise Kean in the French capital.

He told L’Equipe earlier this month: ‘I dream of playing in the Champions League. I am open to an experience outside of Italy. When you see Verratti, Florenzi and Kean succeed, it makes you want to do it too.’

Allegri, meanwhile, is looking to revolutionise the Juventus midfield after a poor season under predecessor Pirlo which saw them nearly miss out on Champions League football altogether. 

Aaron Ramsay, Adrien Rabiot and Weston McKennie have all been linked with moves away from Turin this summer, while Arthur Melo has failed to live up to his £62million price tag following his move from Barcelona last year. 

Rodrigo Bentancur is the other midfield name at Allegri’s disposal but the Uruguayan failed to score a single goal in the entire 2020-21 campaign under Pirlo.