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Arsenal Take The Lead For Wanted Italian Defender But Chelsea Still In The Race

Written By Onyeka Daniel

With Italy already knocked out of the ongoing Euro 2024 tournament in Germany, and the summer transfer window officially declared open two days ago, it is now time for Serie A clubs to get down to the business of the transfer market.

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In the League, two players, Joshua Zirkzee and Riccardo Calafiori have attracted the most interest, with Bologna’s sporting director, Giovanni Sartori admitting that they might not be able to keep the pair, expressing more optimism on the defender than the striker.


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With Zirkzee, his future seems straightforward, a €40m release clause to be activated between now and August, plus the demands of €15m for his agent, Kia Joorabchian. For Calafiori, the Rossoblu have a bit more of a control and in the event of a sales, they will hope to get the most of out a player that they signed a year ago.

According to Corriere dello Sport, Arsenal are close to matching Bologna‘s asking price for Calafiori even if Chelsea are still in the race. Bologna hope for a bidding war for their star defender Calafiori and according to the report, the Gunners have made a €47m offer to the player who just had an impressive showing at the European Championship.

And, perhaps, his absence, due to a suspension can be linked to Italy’s exit in the hands of Switzerland in the round of 16. The report also adds that Arsenal’s offer is close to Bologna’s €50m asking price, but the Rossoblu haven’t yet accepted the Gunners’ proposal.

In Italy, Juventus had been hoping to sign the player, but Bologna will rather not sell to them, probably still upset with how the Bianconeri pinch Thiago Motta from them. Hence, Bologna are now reportedly waiting for an updated offer from Arsenal or Chelsea.

The Blues have yet to make an official bid for the 22-year-old, but they will soon make one, probably offering one or two players plus cash in order to sway the deal in their favor. Arsenal also might be prepared to offer Jakob Kiwior in an exchange.

Bologna will be hoping for a bidding war, to help them get more out of the exit. This is because, when they signed Calafiori from Basel for €4m last summer, the Swiss club included a 40% clause on any next sale, so they can’t keep all the money that they get from his sales.

Meanwhile…

Roma are said to be the favourites to sign Boca Juniors defender Nicolas Valentini, according to Sky Sport Italia. The Giallorossi are hoping to use the influence of their coach Daniele De Rossi, who was briefly his teammate when playing for the Argentine giants in 2019.

Read Also: Euro 2024 Round Of 16: Bellingham And Kane The Difference Maker As England Claw Back To Defeat Slovakia

Valentini is a product of the Boca Juniors youth academy and turned 23 in April, but his contract with the club only runs to January 2025, significantly lowering the asking price. Inter Milan, Napoli, Lazio and Fiorentina had also been linked with him in the past and most recently, newly promoted side Como.

But Roma now seem to be the favourites in their pursuit. More meetings are expected over the next few days to work out both the transfer fee and personal terms with the player. Although with no senior caps for Argentina yet, he has been called up to the squad and is a regular at Under-23 level with eight appearances.

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