It was a summer to remember for Italians all over the world, but particularly the select few that support Serie A side Sassuolo.
The Neroverdi have grown to become a permanent fixture in the Italian top flight, and the stars they have nurtured and developed over the past few seasons finally earned the credit they deserve on the international stage.
Manuel Locatelli and Domenico Berardi were vital figures in Italy’s Euro 2020 winning side and they demonstrated to the world all the fine work that former Roberto De Zerbi did with them during his three years in charge.
But that glory has come at a bittersweet price. The world’s watching eye has cost them the chance of seeing Locatelli play in the green and black stripes again, after he finally completed a €35m move to Juventus on Wednesday.
As if that wasn’t enough, Tuttomercatoweb now report that Berardi also wants out. It never rains but it pours, eh?
Perhaps he sees no future at the club without De Zerbi and now Locatelli, and the Italy international views this summer as his best chance to land a dream move that his talent more than merits.
He is available for less than €30m, but where could he end up? These are Berardi’s likely destinations – ranked.
Berardi has been linked with a move to Juventus in the past, but he turned down those offers and remained faithful to Sassuolo. Unfortunately, that crack at the big time never resurfaced.
Could this be the year then, that the 27-year-old gets his break and follows Locatelli to Juventus? Probably not, in truth. Federico Chiesa eventually usurped Berardi in the Italy side this summer, and he would stand ahead of him in black and white, too.
On the other flank sits Dejan Kulusevski, and then there’s some bloke called Cristiano Ronaldo who can do a job on the left. And then there’s Paulo Dybala.
Good fit rating: 3/10
The Premier League would be a nice fit for the hard-working, robust winger. Everton love a wide man, and although they’ve signed Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend, Berardi would provide the sex appeal to get fans off their seats.
The Toffees have been known to hoard wingers in the past, and this could be the start of another wonderful collection. Then again, Rafa Benitez may vote against it.
Just to clarify though, Berardi is at least 17 times better than Townsend and Gray put together.
Good fit rating: 5/10
Across the park on Merseyside, Liverpool are also hoping to do some business before the transfer window metaphorically slams shut.
The Reds’ front three is well-documented as being brilliant, but their backups are also known to be below par. Klopp loves flexible forwards, and Berardi could certainly provide cover in all three attacking positions.
Would the Italian be happy to play a bit-part role in the peak years of his career? That remains to be seen.
Good fit rating: 6/10
Leicester City tried to replenish their attacking options with AS Roma star Cengiz Under last term, but the Foxes decided against making his deal permanent after an underwhelming loan spell.
Brendan Rodgers is on the lookout for the missing piece to the attacking puzzle, and he may dip back into Serie A to find it.
Berardi would definitely fare much better than Under did, too.
Good fit rating: 7/10
There is a Jadon Sancho-shaped hole in the Borussia Dortmund attack, and it’s one that needs filling. Der BVB did sign Donyell Malen from PSV Eindhoven this summer, but a bit more experience would not go amiss.
Berardi lives to serve his fellow forwards, and his accurate delivery and selfless nature would come as music to a certain Erling Haaland’s ears.
It’s not the glamorous, glitzy signing that Dortmund fans may want, but he would definitely do the business in Germany. Partner him and Haaland in attack and a connection could flourish.
Good fit rating: 7.5/10
Now this we can see happening. West Ham United’s owners are under pressure to make some signings this summer, and it’s clear they need an addition or two in attack.
Michail Antonio, Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen are a superb team up top, but if even one of them succumbs to injury, they are in trouble. Berardi can offer that necessary cover – and then some.
West Ham are still in the market to replace Jesse Lingard, whose loan signing feels a distant memory. Berardi can play in behind the forward if necessary and provide that connection between the midfield and attack.
Good fit rating: 8/10
This is as good as it gets, we reckon. Stefano Pioli’s Milan are in the perfect position to go into the transfer market and pick up Berardi, who would instantly improve their team and provide the ideal platform for the winger.
Supporters are tired of seeing Samu Castillejo run down cul-de-sacs and break defender’s shins with poor crosses, and an extra sparkle of quality out wide is exactly what they need.
Berardi can also fill the void left by Hakan Calhanoglu and offer versatility across the entire forward line. Dig deep into your pockets, Milan, and find the money to sign this Euro 2020 winner.
Good fit rating: 9/10