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How much Arsenal will have to pay for Riccardo Calafiori to complete second summer transfer

Riccardo Calafiori could become an Arsenal player in the coming weeks if Edu can strike a deal with Bologna for the defender.

The 22-year-old is a target for the Gunners this summer, football.london understands, with Mikel Arteta an admirer of the defender's talents. Capable of playing centre-back and left-back, it's believed the Italian would offer more quality to the Gunners backline not only for next season but future campaigns as well.

Calafiori has spent the last two years with Bologna and made 37 appearances in all competitions for the Serie A side last season. Capable of stepping out from the back and making things happen offensively, the former AS Roma and FC Basel man also registered two goals and five assists during the 2023/24 season.

The defender was part of Italy's Euro 2024 squad and played in all three group stage games of the competition. He did, however, miss the round of 16 defeat to Switzerland through suspension after picking up two yellow cards during the group stages.

Now his time with the Italy national side has ended attention has turned to Calafiori's future. "There is talk of Juventus but also of many other teams. At this moment we will try to keep him. If important requests were to arrive we will have to think about it," Bologna technical director Giovanni Sartori said.

"I am not saying that we will sell him because the president has said that he wants to keep the whole team, but we will certainly make some evaluations. I do not think he will go to Juventus, maybe to a different market, but I repeat that we would like to try to keep him."

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With three more years on his contract, Bologna are in no rush to sell the defender but would entertain offers of around €50million (£42.5million). That would be more than what the Gunners paid for Jurrien Timber last summer, with the former Ajax man moving to Emirates Stadium for an initial fee of £34million, although add-ons mean that figure could reach £38milliion.

Ben White is Arsenal's record defensive transfer, moving from Brighton & Hove Albion in July 2021 for £50million. Gunners boss Arteta is currently in Marbella with some members of the Arsenal playing squad for a summer training camp ahead of pre-season training starting in just over a week. The Spaniard was asked about the club's transfer plans and described the market as "tricky".

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"We are looking to improve in every possible department," Arteta told ESPN. "With the new regulations, there are certain things we have to respect and be conscious of and then obviously the Euros and Copa America are slowing everything down. Hopefully now it is going to pick up a little bit."

He added: "I think both ways [players coming in and going out of the club]. There are things that we have to improve, that's for sure and we are going to try to. But the market is tricky.

"We have been very aggressive, we are very determined and we have a clear idea obviously of what we want to do. It will come down to finding the right agreements at the right time."