Bologna have just handed Arsenal £42m Riccardo Calafiori transfer opportunity

Riccardo Calafiori of Italy and Bologna
-Credit: (Image: Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Bologna technical director Giovanni Sartori has admitted that he will consider selling defender Riccardo Calafiori if the right offer comes in, giving Arsenal and Chelsea a boost in the process.

The two London clubs have been linked with interest in the centre-back, who was one of only a few positives for Italy at Euro 2024. A number of other European big-hitters have been connected with the 22-year-old, while a move within Italy is unlikely.

Chelsea have already landed one centre-back this summer in Tosin Adarabioyo, who arrives at Stamford Bridge as a free agent following the expiry of his Fulham contract. The Blues could return to being more expansive in their spending, given that Sunday’s Profit & Sustainability Rules deadline has now passed.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are being tipped to consider a centre-back addition to cover for and challenge prime partnership duo William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes. Jakub Kiwior is being linked with an exit, while Jurrien Timber is expected to mostly be used as a right-back.

Bologna chief Sartori told reporters on Monday that his club hopes to keep hold of Calafiori, who still has three years left on his deal, but conceded that an exit is not off the table although a move to Juventus is unlikely.

"We took him [Calafiori] 12 months ago, so we'll see what happens in the market, but in our heads there is the will to keep him,” said Sartori. “We will try to keep him, but if important offers arrive, we will have to take them into consideration. I don't think he will go to Juventus, he will probably go to a different market."

READ MORE: Arsenal receive £60m transfer warning

READ MORE: Riccardo Calafiori transfer stance, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall Chelsea issue and Jadon Sancho truth

Italian publication Gazzetta says the interest in Calafiori has seen his price tag grow from £34m to £43m, given that former club Basel will claim a 40% take on any transfer fee. That would denote more than a ten-fold rise in price, having arrived from the Swiss club last summer for just £3.4m.

Sartori also gave Arsenal an update on Joshua Zirkzee, who has been linked with the Emirates Stadium amid stronger connections with a transfer to Manchester United. It seems the Dutchman will be securing a transfer somewhere this summer amid his £34m release clause.

Sartori added on Zirkzee: "He has a clause, so he will leave 99.9%. Replacement? We've been thinking about it for months. It won't be easy, but we will work to replace him, we have some names."