Arsenal submit ‘monstrous’ offer to sign Chelsea target as European club respond with transfer request

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal Chelsea transfer target Riccardo Calafiori
Italy star Riccardo Calafiori is linked with Arsenal and Chelsea.

According to reports, Arsenal have submitted a ‘monstrous’ offer for Italy and Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori, who is also being linked with Chelsea.

Calafiori left Swiss club FC Basel to join Serie A outfit Bologna ahead of the 2023/24 campaign and enjoyed a brilliant debut season for the Italian side.

Calafiori to the Premier League?

The 22-year-old was previously used as a left-back but was operated at centre-back by Thiago Motta in 23/24 and his form for Bologna led to him breaking into the Italy squad ahead of Euro 2024.

Italy were knocked out of the tournament by Switzerland in the round of 16, but Calafiori was one of their standout performers and is expected to seal a transfer elsewhere this summer.

On Wednesday morning, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano revealed “Arsenal and Chelsea are the two clubs interested” in the defender.

“Arsenal’s interest in Riccardo Calafiori is there, and negotiations could be something to mention in the next days. Arsenal and Chelsea are the two clubs interested in Calafiori, though we’re waiting for a bid and for formal steps. Still, the interest is there, because both clubs are looking for a similar player – left-footed, and someone who can play either left-back or centre-back,” Romano said in his Daily Briefing column.

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“Arsenal already had Jakub Kiwior playing this kind of role last season, but Calafiori is a different kind of player, both in terms of his overall quality and how he plays in that position. So, Calafiori is on Arsenal’s list, though they also have other names, and it’s the same for Chelsea – both clubs are very interested, so we’ll provide an update if or when they make proposals.

“For now, they’re still waiting to understand the player’s preference and also how much is needed for Bologna; the price tag is not clear yet, some sources suggest around €45-50m because his former club Basel will receive almost 50% on the future sale.

“Meanwhile, more good news for Arsenal is that the contract extension for Mikel Arteta is getting closer. He has one year left on his contract, but it’s a work in progress and there is confidence to get it done as Arteta wants to stay at Arsenal, and they want to keep him. When Arteta was linked with the Barcelona job, the truth is he was never tempted – his mission is to continue at Arsenal with a new contract.”

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Arsenal submit ‘monstrous’ offer…

According to a report in Italy, Bologna have ‘received a monstrous proposal’ of €47m’ from Arsenal for Calafiori.

However, it is noted that this offer ‘hasn’t convinced’ Bologna as they ‘want more money’ if they are to sanction Calafiori’s exit.

Chelsea’s interest is also noted with it claimed that Bologna will only sell Calafiori if Arsenal submit an improved bid as their ‘starting request’ is a fee of €50m.