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Arsenal set deadline to sign Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori

Arsenal set deadline to sign Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori

The 22-year-old impressed for the Azzurri at Euro 2024 and his absence through suspension was keenly felt as Luciano Spalletti’s side lost their last 16 tie against Switzerland.

Despite their outstanding defensive record last season, Mikel Arteta is keen to strengthen his rearguard again this summer.

Jurrien Timber is set to play a more prominent role after his debut campaign was ruined by injury, but the Arsenal manager wants to add a naturally left-footed centre-half who is capable of filling in at full-back.

Arsenal had considered the likes of Jarrad Branthwaite, Nottingham Forest’s Murillo, and Ajax youngster Jorrel Hato, but believe Calafiori perfectly fits the profile of defender they are after and is easily attainable.

Personal terms are already understood to have been agreed and, according to the Daily Mail, fresh talks are planned this week between Arsenal and Bologna to agree a fee in the region of £40 million.

Arteta, meanwhile, is hopeful a deal can be concluded in time for Calafiori to feature on Arsenal’s pre-season tour of America. The Gunners are due to play Bournemouth in California on July 25 before games against rivals Manchester United and Liverpool.

Any deal for Calafiori, meanwhile, could see Arsenal be prepared to listen to offers for Poland international Jakub Kiwior. The 24-year-old joined Arsenal from Spezia 18 months ago but has struggled to win the faith of Arteta.

Kiwior did impress briefly at full-back during the second half of last season, but hardly featured after an error-strewn defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League when he was taken off at half-time having struggled against Leroy Sane.

Arsenal have also made contact with Wolves and made their interest in goalkeeper Dan Bentley known.
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