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Arsenal have entered negotiations with Bologna to secure a deal for centre-back Riccardo Calafiori, according to reports.

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Calafiori, 22, gained international attention this summer following an outstanding Serie A season and notable performances for Italy at Euro 2024, despite their unexpected elimination in the round of 16.

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Now focusing on his club future, Calafiori is reportedly the subject of talks between Arsenal and Bologna, as confirmed by the Daily Mail.

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Discussions also involve representatives of Calafiori as Arsenal aim to finalize the deal and preempt competition from other interested parties, notably Chelsea.

According to Corriere dello Sport, Arsenal’s initial bid of €47m (£39.8m) for the defender has already been turned down.

Bologna reportedly maintains a firm stance on their €50m (£42.3m) asking price for Riccardo Calafiori, largely due to a contractual agreement where his former club, Swiss side Basel, is entitled to 40% of any transfer fee.

Interestingly, during his tenure at Basel, Calafiori expressed admiration for Chelsea, naming them as one of the two Premier League clubs he “really likes”.

Calafiori’s attractiveness stems from his proficiency as a left-footed player comfortable at left-back. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has a history of favoring inverted full-backs, while new Chelsea manager Enzo Maresca also values wide defenders who can operate centrally.

Despite interest from Real Madrid, Juventus, and Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea are currently leading the charge for Calafiori’s signature.