However, he has played a more important role for the Serie A giants this season, with 17 appearances and three goals in 60 games for the club since his £17m transfer.
The club are now expected to offer him fresh terms with a five-year contract on the table and given his agent’s positive comments, Locatelli looks likely to sign.
That means Arteta will need to move on to other targets, having already missed out on Douglas Luiz after the Brazilian penned a new deal with Aston Villa. Jude Bellingham has been linked as an ambitious target, though it remains to be seen whether Arsenal can afford the £130m-rated midfielder.
Youri Tielemans, who is available to speak to clubs to discuss a pre-contract agreement from January 1, has attracted interest from the Emirates, as well as Palmeiras midfielder Danilo, who has been scouted by Edu and is likely to be within the club’s price range.