'One step away' - Arsenal rapidly close in on £42m next summer signing

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The Euro 2024 star could soon be boarding the plane to north London amid ongoing transfer saga

Arsenal’s key transfer target Riccardo Calafiori is reportedly ‘one step away’ from joining the Gunners, with the latest reports indicating a deal is to be sorted as soon as possible. The Bologna defender’s agent was also said to be working to close the gap in player valuation between the Gunners and the Serie A club while claims emerged from Gazzetto dello Sport that personal terms had been agree.

Now, Italian sports journalist Rudy Galetti has provided another update on the ongoing negotiations between the 22-year-old and the Emirates side, taking to X to write: “Arsenal are speeding talks up with Bologna to finalise the deal for Calafiori asap.

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“As told, AFC already agreed personal terms with the (centre-back) and put more than €50m on the table for the club. (Bologna) want to monetize his sale as much as possible.”

Calciomercato journalist Daniele Longo has also backed up Galetti’s claim, indicating it could be a matter of 48 hours maximum before the deal is announced. Taking to X, Longo wrote: “Arsenal expects to close the Calafiori deal. within 24/48 hours. 50 million plus bonuses to Bologna (of which 40% to Basel). For Riccardo, contract until 2029 at 4 million (bonuses included) per season” (translated from Italian).

22-year-old Calafiori was on exceptional form for Bologna last season, operating primarily as the club’s centre-back. He does, however, have plenty of experience on the left, playing left-back for both his former club FC Basel and his country. The Rome-born star shone in Italy’s Euro 2024 journey to the last 16, assisting beautifully as Azzurri equalised in the 90+8th minute against Croatia in the group stages.

His defensive versatility has made him an hugely popular prospect for the Gunners as they seek to find not only a central back-up that can help the formidable partnership of William Saliba and Gabriel, but can also aid in the ongoing selection crisis on the left following as Oleksandr Zinchenko struggles with form.

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