Arsenal have sent their scouts to watch Sassuolo winger Domenico Berardi ahead of a potential transfer this summer.
The Italian has been one of the most consistent wide players in Serie A. He has been in superb form this season with 12 goals and 14 assists from just 25 appearances.
The Gunners were linked with him earlier last year, and journalist Nicolo Schira now reports that they are once again keeping tabs on him ahead of a summer approach.
Berardi will enter the final two years of his Sassuolo contract this summer. The club are willing to part ways with their prized asset if they receive a fee of €30 million.
The 27-year-old has spent almost his entire career at Sassuolo. He had a brief stint at Juventus between 2013 and 2015 but never made a competitive appearance.
His form at club level has cemented his national team spot with Italy, but he could now be eyeing a bigger challenge with Sassuolo being a mid-table club over the years.
They have produced quality talents but have generally cashed in for the right price. Manuel Locatelli left for Juventus on a two-year loan with a buy obligation last summer.
It won’t be a surprise if Berardi chooses to end his long-term association with the club. The Gunners have been linked, but it remains to be seen how he would fit in.
The Italian has played 90 per cent of his games from the right wing during his career. The Gunners have the position well occupied with the presence of Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe.
The latter could move on amid the lack of regular first-team football. Berardi could be brought in to offer strong competition to Saka. The Gunners graduate can also play on the opposite flank.
This could impact the game time of Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli, but the north London club need more quality in the squad to compete for regular silverware.
The club are moving on the right path with their push for Champions League football. They are currently fourth in the league standings, one point ahead of Manchester United with three games in hand.
They have a good chance of returning to the elite European competition after five seasons. On that basis, manager Mikel Arteta may want to add a couple of experienced match-winners in the squad.
Berardi is undoubtedly capable of producing such moments, having starred for Italy en route to their European Championship success last summer. The only concern for the Gunners could be the domestic transfer interest.
Both Napoli and AC Milan are monitoring the player’s situation. Berardi could be tempted to make the switch across the Italian top-flight rather than taking up a new challenge abroad next season.
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