Riccardo Calafiori 'only wants Arsenal' as €50m transfer nears

  • Arsenal have agreed personal terms with Riccardo Calafiori
  • Gunners set to beat Chelsea and Juventus to Italian's signature
  • Bologna demanding €50m for defender's sale
Riccardo Calafiori has agreed to join Arsenal
Riccardo Calafiori has agreed to join Arsenal / Claudio Villa/GettyImages

Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori has agreed to join Arsenal off the back of an impressive Euro 2024 campaign with Italy, but the Gunners are yet to strike a deal with the Serie A club.

Calafiori enjoyed a breakout 2023/24 campaign with the Rossublu under Thiago Motta in a unique defensive role which saw him take up an all-encompassing role in possession. His unicorn profile added layers of unpredictability to Bologna's build-up, and Mikel Arteta has undoubtedly been left intrigued by the young defender's versatility and majesty with the ball.

Arsenal have been in the market for a left-sided defender this summer, and it seems as if Calafiori's stout Euros has convinced the Spaniard, and the club, to make their move. Others have been interested, including Juventus and Chelsea, but Arsenal are now well in control of the race.

Riccardo Calafiori agrees Arsenal move - clubs working to finalise fee

New Juve boss Motta was keen to bring Calafiori with him to Turin, but Bologna's reluctance to sell to a Serie A rival (Bologna finished ahead of Juventus last season and qualified for the Champions League) opened the door for Premier League clubs.

Chelsea's interest was well-documented, but no bid arrived and the player has made it clear that he wants to team up with Arteta in north London. I mean, who wouldn't?! The Blues have since pivoted to another left-sided option in Renato Veiga.

Fabrizio Romano reports that Arsenal have agreed a five-year contract with the Italian international worth €4m a year. Bologna, though, are still incessant on securing €50m for the defender's sale. Arsenal are hoping to bring that figure down with talks set to continue over the next couple of days.

So, it seems that this one is more a matter of when rather than if. Arsenal have made sound progress with the Calafiori deal over the past week and Arteta will hope the club can wrap up a deal as soon as possible so he can travel with the squad to the USA for their pre-season tour later this month.

Jakub Kiwior and Oleksandr Zinchenko are among the players potentially on the chopping block should Calafiori join.