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Premier League Giants in Fierce Battle for Versatile Bologna Defender

Riccardo Calafiori of Italy during UEFA Euro 2024 - Italy training session, UEFA European Football Championship in Iserlhon, Germany, June 26 2024
© Alamy /

Arsenal and Chelsea are locked in a fierce battle to sign Riccardo Calafiori, a versatile defender currently playing for Bologna FC 1909. Despite Calafiori’s preference for Juventus, Bologna’s management is inclined to sell him abroad, making the Premier League giants strong contenders for his signature.

  • Arsenal and Chelsea are both eyeing Riccardo Calafiori.
  • Basel stands to gain nearly 50% of any transfer fee.
  • Calafiori prefers Juventus, but Bologna wants an international deal.

Arsenal and Chelsea’s Interest in Calafiori

Arsenal and Chelsea are both keen on securing the services of Riccardo Calafiori. As per a tweet from credible football journalist Fabrizio Romano, both Premier League giants have scrutinized the terms of the deal, which could be costly due to Basel’s entitlement to almost 50% of the transfer fee.


Calafiori, who recently gave the green light to Juventus, finds himself at the center of a transfer tug-of-war. Despite his preference for the Italian giants, Bologna’s management is inclined to sell him abroad, thus opening the door for Arsenal and Chelsea to swoop in.

Calafiori’s Career and Statistics

Riccardo Calafiori, born on May 19, 2002, in Roma, Italy, has had an impressive career trajectory. Standing at 1.88 meters, he is capable of playing as a centre-back, left midfielder, and left-back. His versatility has made him an asset for Bologna since joining them on August 31, 2023. Here are some of his career statistics:

  • Serie A: 43 appearances, 2 goals, 1 assist
  • Super League: 26 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist
  • Conference League: 11 appearances, 1 goal, 2 assists
  • Europa League: 5 appearances, 1 goal

Calafiori has also represented Italy at various youth levels, accumulating 5 caps with the senior national team since his debut on June 4, 2024. His market value is currently estimated at €30.00 million as of June 5, 2024.

Transfer Rumors and Market Dynamics

The competition for Calafiori’s signature highlights the intense nature of the current transfer market. Both Arsenal and Chelsea have shown a willingness to invest heavily in young talent, and Calafiori’s recent performances have only heightened their interest. Notably, Chelsea is also reportedly interested in Nottingham Forest’s Brazilian defender Murillo Santiago Costa dos Santos, indicating their broader strategy to bolster their defensive options.

Meanwhile, Juventus remains a strong contender, having received a positive signal from Calafiori himself. However, Bologna’s preference to sell him abroad adds a layer of complexity to the negotiations. Basel’s claim to almost half of any transfer fee further complicates the financial aspects of the deal.

This evolving situation underscores the competitive landscape of European football transfers and the strategic maneuvers clubs must undertake to secure top talent.

For more detailed statistics, visit his Transfermarkt Profile.

For additional context on the transfer market and Bologna’s position, you can read about the ongoing tug-of-war involving Calafiori here.

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