Manchester City currently have Fernandinho and Rodri as the two recognised defensive midfielders in their squad.

The Brazilian, who will turn 36-years-of-age in May, has a deal until the end of this season and reports have indicated his contract situation is ‘beginning to disturb’ the Citizens.

It’s not clear whether or not Fernandinho will be at the Etihad next season, but the English club have started the search for a new defensive midfielder.

According to Calciomercato, Sassuolo’s Manuel Locatelli has been identified as a target.

On Thursday, Sassuolo director Giovanni Carnevali insisted the recent reports around the 23-year-old’s future are a “good thing”.

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Juventus are also interested in the player. During a recent interview with Tuttosport, Locatelli’s agent Stefano Castelnuovo opened the door for his client to join the Turin club.

Carnevali and Castelnuovo’s quotes are relayed by Calciomercato and they further explain the Old Lady will try to sign the Italy international in the summer. The ‘competition has increased’ as there is interest from Pep Guardiola’s side.

Manchester City have identified the Sassuolo star as a target and are constantly monitoring him. The report further explains Locatelli’s name is not just in the notebook of the club’s scouts as it’s definitely a profile ‘carefully followed’ by the Etihad club.

Juve are ‘warned’ as Guardiola ‘wants’ the midfielder. City have ‘entered the race’ for Locatelli and his club, who continue to ask for €40m, are hoping there is an auction in the summer.

Calciomercato end their report by stating: ‘Locatelli wants to continue to amaze, even in the second half of the season. With the Sassuolo shirt first, then with the national team at the European Championship. Waiting to know his future…’