Riccardo Calafiori to Arsenal transfer latest: £45m deal 'agreed', Bologna's stance, John Stones admission

Getty Images for FIGC
Everything you need to know about Arsenal’s transfer pursuit of Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori.

Arsenal are said to be pushing ahead with their summer business as Euro 2024 and Copa América edge towards completion. Many of the Gunners stars have already returned to base to begin their preparations for the new season, meanwhile, Edu and Arteta will be looking to add quality and depth to their squad.

A number of areas are on the table, with a new winger required, along with a possible striker signing and a new centre-back. In the case of the latter, it seems the Gunners have already identified their main target. Here we run you through what you need to know about their pursuit of Riccardo Calafiori.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Calafiori transfer latest

Arsenal are said to have agreed a deal with Bologna worth as much as £45million to snap up Riccardo Calafiori. The Gunners are keen to add depth at the back, and the Italy international will be able to play as a left-sided centre-back who can also play in a back three or even as a left-back in a back four.

Calafiori was one of Italy’s most impressive players at Euro 2024, although they did endure a disappointing campaign that saw them eliminated at the Round of 16 stage. Various reports claim a deal has already been agreed, while it had already been reported that the defender was happy to make the move to North London, suggesting personal terms won’t be an issue.

What Bologna have said

Bologna chief Giovanni Sartori recently revealed that the club would likely have to sell their star centre-back this summer. He said: “There is talk of Juventus but also of many other teams.

“At this moment we will try to keep him. If important requests were to arrive we will have to think about it. I am not saying that we will sell him because the president [Joey Saputo] has said that he wants to keep the whole team, but we will certainly make some evaluations. I do not think he will go to Juventus, maybe to a different market, but I repeat that we would like to try to keep him.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Change of position

Former Basel interim coach Heiko Vogel, who managed Calafiori, has spoken about the adjustments the Italian has made to better his career. He told Sky Sports: “I put him from the full-back position into the centre and he did it well.” He added: “I like Arteta's style, everything is about possession. Ricky likes possession," adds Vogel.

“If you want to build up the game and have possession, he's brilliant. If you followed the European Championships, his rushes into the midfield were breaking the opponents' lines. He has a very good heading game in defence or the offensive, he was very dangerous in front of goal from set pieces."

John Stones inspiration

In a recent interview, Calafiori spoke about his influences and revealed that Manchester City and England star John Stones is one of his ‘references’. He said: "[John] Stones is my reference. His style of play is closest to mine. It's not off the cuff when I go into midfield. It's following the guidelines of the coach."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.