Arsenal has become the first club to put in an official bid for Manuel Locatelli this summer as he continues to shine for Italy at Euro 2020.
The Italian midfielder is a target for several top European clubs, but Arsenal is confident of winning the race for his signature.
Sassuolo wants 40m euros and they will sell to the suitor that pays the most money.
Arsenal has some disadvantage in this race considering that they cannot offer him European football next season.
As they struggle to sign him as an established star now, it has been revealed that they were made aware of his talent about five years ago.
Locatelli was 18 in 2016 and was breaking through at AC Milan but he had caught the attention of several scouts.
TalkSPORT reports that Arsene Wenger sent chief scout Neil Banfield to run the rule over him that year.
The Gunners didn’t follow up their interest in his signature and Milan would eventually sell him to Sassuolo after they signed Chelsea flop, Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Arsenal could have signed him for a lower transfer fee then, but he is set to cost them a fortune now and the competition for his signature is fierce.