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Premier League Giants in Tug-of-War for Versatile Defender

Riccardo Calafiori of Italy during UEFA Euro 2024 - Italy training session, UEFA European Football Championship in Iserlhon, Germany, June 26 2024
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Arsenal and Chelsea are both keen on signing Bologna’s versatile defender Riccardo Calafiori. Despite Calafiori’s preference for Juventus, Bologna is inclined to sell him abroad due to financial considerations. The transfer fee will be significant, with Basel entitled to almost 50% of the proceeds.

  • Arsenal and Chelsea are interested in Riccardo Calafiori.
  • Calafiori prefers a move to Juventus, but Bologna prefers an international sale.
  • Basel will receive nearly 50% of any transfer fee.

Premier League Giants Eye Calafiori

Arsenal and Chelsea are ramping up their efforts to secure Riccardo Calafiori, as reported by renowned journalist Fabrizio Romano. Both clubs have delved into the specifics of a potential deal, aware that Basel will claim nearly half of any transfer fee. Calafiori, who currently plays for Bologna, has given his green light to join Juventus. However, Bologna’s inclination to sell him abroad opens the door for Premier League suitors.


Calafiori’s impressive performances for Bologna have not gone unnoticed. Since his transfer from Basel on August 31, 2023, he has emerged as one of Serie A’s standout defenders. His versatility, capable of playing as a centre-back or left-back, along with his passing range, anticipation, and physical style, make him a highly coveted asset.

Juventus in Pole Position

Despite the interest from England, Juventus remains a strong contender for Calafiori’s signature. The Italian giants have received a positive nod from the player himself, which could be a decisive factor. However, Bologna’s preference for an international sale might complicate Juventus’ plans. The financial dynamics involved, particularly Basel’s 50% stake in any transfer fee, add another layer of complexity to the negotiations.

For Juventus, acquiring Calafiori would bolster their defensive options significantly. The young defender’s tactical flexibility makes him an ideal fit for Juventus’ evolving style of play, whether in a back three or back four formation. His inclusion could also signal a shift in Juventus’ transfer strategy, focusing on young, versatile talents.

The Broader Transfer Landscape

The potential move of Riccardo Calafiori is part of a broader trend in the transfer market. Chelsea, for instance, is also eyeing Kieran Dewsbury-Hall from Leicester City, seeing him as a perfect fit for their playing style. Similarly, Juventus is involved in transfer talks regarding Arthur Melo, potentially paving the way for new signings like Calafiori.

In another significant move, Ben Godfrey’s transfer to Atalanta highlights the shifting dynamics within Serie A, where clubs are increasingly looking to strengthen their squads with versatile and promising talents.

As the transfer window heats up, the saga of Riccardo Calafiori’s next destination remains one to watch. Whether he ends up in the Premier League or stays in Italy, his next move will undoubtedly shape the dynamics of whichever league he joins.

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