The 23-year-old has been a key figure in Roberto De Zerbi’s Sassuolo side this season, scoring four goals and providing three assists from 33 league appearances.
Premier League champions Manchester City are said to have identified Locatelli as the ideal successor for Fernandinho, who turned 36 years old earlier this month.
As competition for Pep Guardiola’s side, Serie A giants Juventus have also been credited with an interest in the Italy international ahead of the fast-approaching transfer window.
However, according to Italian daily La Repubblica, Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk have now emerged as a serious option for the midfielder.
Sassuolo coach De Zerbi is said to be in line to take charge of the Shakhtar Donetsk boss in the summer and is keen to take Locatelli along with him.
The Ukrainian outfit are prepared to make a serious effort to sign the former AC Milan midfielder and are claimed to have already made an offer for him.
It remains to be seen if Locatelli is willing to reject moves to clubs such as Manchester City in favour of a reunion with De Zerbi at Shakhtar Donetsk.