Tottenham ‘ready to break in’ and hijack Arsenal pursuit of Italian with a ‘monstrous offer’ required

Joe Williams
Tottenham and Arsenal transfer target Riccardo Calafiori
Riccardo Calafiori has been linked with a move to Tottenham and Arsenal.

Tottenham are hoping to win the ‘north London derby’ of the summer transfer market by beating Arsenal to Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori, according to reports.

Calafiori has had a brilliant breakout campaign at the Serie A side this summer after joining the Italian side from Swiss side Basel last summer.

The 22-year-old contributed two goals and five assists in 30 Serie A appearances to help Bologna to an impressive fifth-placed finish and qualify for the Champions League.

His performances have earned him a call-up to the Italy squad for Euro 2024 and he has played in all three of their group matches at the tournament.

That has seen interest in Calafiori from all over Europe with transfer expert Fabrizio Romano confirming that Bologna will want an “important fee” to allow the Italy international to leave this summer.

Romano said: “Bologna will ask for important fee for Riccardo Calafiori as they owe FC Basel around 40% of the future sale over €6m for the Italian defender.”

Bologna sporting director Marco Di Vaio has also commented on the future of Calafiori, he said: “We’ll see after the Euros but want to keep all our players, including Calafiori.”

And now reports in Italy claim that Tottenham are ‘ready to break in’ and steal Calafiori from under the nose of north London rivals Arsenal this summer.

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It is understood that Spurs are ‘taking on Arsenal in a transfer “North London derby”‘ and Serie A giants Juventus could miss out because of the ‘purchasing power of the Premier League’.

The ‘main obstacle’ between the Premier League sides and Calafiori is ‘the will of Bologna not to sell him’ with the Italian outfit looking for a ‘monstrous offer’ if they are to let the centre-back depart.

Arsenal could be impacted further if Juventus miss out on the Italian with the Old Lady set to ‘further raise their antennas on Kiwior, already identified as an alternative to Calafiori’.

But there is hope still for Juventus, the report adds:

‘Without abandoning all hope of reaching the blue team, let’s be clear: the opportunity to continue working with Thiago Motta who launched him remains an ace up the Juventus sleeve, as is the possibility of consolidating in Italy after the first high-profile season.’

Calafiori’s Italy team-mate Alessandro Bastoni is enjoying playing alongside the Bologna centre-back in the heart of Luciano Spalletti’s defence at Euro 2024.

Bastoni commented recently: “I am on good terms with Calafiori. He has enormous quality, he has no fear of playing the ball, and he’s similar to the player I was three years ago.

“As the coach [Spalletti] said, playing certain games is an important step. We’ve played two games together so I hope we will complete this affinity with time.”