Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomePremier LeagueChelsea and Arsenal join race for left-sided centre-back

Chelsea and Arsenal join race for left-sided centre-back

Chelsea and Arsenal have joined the race to sign Riccardo Calafiori from Bologna this summer.

Calafiori has caught the eye of recruiters following a standout season for Bologna, with the centre-back having impressed as the Italian side secured Champions League qualification for the first time since 1964-65.

 

The 22-year-old has broken into the Italy team as a result and impressed despite the Azzurri’s early exit at Euro 2024, where his carry in possession and left-footed balance have piqued the interest of top clubs.

Thiago Motta is keen to reunite with the defender having left Bologna to take charge of Juventus this summer, while Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur also have Calafiori on their radar.

Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Chelsea and Arsenal have each internally discussed a deal, with Bologna having reluctantly accepted it will be almost impossible to keep the player this summer.

The Serie A side are set to demand a fee of around £40m and Bologna will owe Calafiori’s former club Basel a significant portion of the profit made on his £5m arrival last summer.

The centre-back has excelled since moving inside from full-back and ranked sixth in Serie A last season for percentage of aerial duels won and interceptions, while scoring twice and providing five assists.

Chelsea are exploring several left-sided centre-back options despite the presence of Levi Colwill and Benoit Badisahile as part of their first-team squad.

 

The West Londoners have been active in the summer transfer window to date after completing deals for Tosin Adarabioyo on a free transfer from Fulham, Omari Kellyman, and Estevao Willian. A deal is also imminent for Leicester midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall.

Read – Every Premier League transfer that beat the PSR deadline

See more – Five early transfer deals you might have missed across Europe

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