Calafiori SMASHES transfer record with Arsenal move

Carlo Garganese
Carlo Garganese
  • 9 Jul 2024 01:45 CDT
  • 4 min read
Riccardo Calafiori, Arsenal, 2024
© IMAGO

Riccardo Calafiori will smash the record of Bologna’s biggest ever sale when he completes his transfer to Arsenal.

The Italy centre back is in advanced talks to join the Gunners and is expected to complete a transfer for around €50 million plus add-ons.

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This fee will be more than double the price of Bologna’s most expensive sale of all time.

READ MORE: Euro 2024 most assists

Simone Verdi’s €24.5m move to Napoli from 2018 is currently the highest fee Bologna have ever received for a player.

Calafiori will smash this record when he joins Arsenal, with a deal potentially being made official this week.

FootballTransfers reported last week that Arsenal had opened talks with Bologna over a possible deal for Calafiori after Jorginho recommended his Italy teammate to Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal’s Italian midfielder Jorginho personally recommended Calafiori to Arteta, informing the Gunners boss that he should seriously consider signing the Bologna defender.

We also reported that Bologna were demanding €50m-plus to sell Calafiori, and Arsenal are now putting the finishing touches to that deal.

The Bologna centre back has agreed personal terms with the Gunners on a contract until 2029 for €4m a year.

Arsenal have beaten a host of big clubs to Calafiori, including Real Madrid, Chelsea, Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus.

Juventus had been favourites to sign Calafiori - and the player had long since agreed personal terms with the Bianconeri - but Bologna were reluctant to sell to their Serie A rivals.

Bologna’s €50m asking price was also a problem for Juventus, but is no issue to Arsenal.

Calafiori shone at Bologna last season
© IMAGO - Calafiori shone at Bologna last season

Calafiori’s former club Basel will receive a 40-50% sell-on amount when the defender is sold.

READ MORE: Premier League summer transfers 2024: All the Done Deals

Calafiori in 2023-24

Calafiori was one of the breakout stars of the Serie A season in 2023-24, playing a key role in Bologna’s shock qualification for the Champions League.

A modern centre back, Calafiori has displayed all the qualities and attributes of a potentially top-class defender.

The 22-year-old presses and reads the game excellently. His use of the ball is superb and he is renowned for bringing the ball out of defence and joining in the construction of the play in midfield and beyond. He is aggressive and excellent in the air.

Calafiori was converted from a left back to a centre back by now former Bologna manager Thiago Motta - now the new Juventus boss.

The defender also enjoyed a brilliant Euro 2024 group stage, setting up Mattia Zaccagni’s memorable 98th minute equaliser for Italy against Croatia.

Read more about: Premier League, Arsenal, R. Calafiori

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