Riccardo Calafiori 'obsession' with Arsenal transfer revealed as three reasons emerge

Riccardo Calafiori looks on
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images for FIGC)

Arsenal's potential deal for Riccardo Calafiori is expected to proceed smoothly, with the defender reportedly excited about the prospect of joining the Gunners and working under Mikel Arteta.

Despite Italy's early exit from Euro 2024 at the hands of Switzerland, Calafiori made a strong impression as a composed centre-back. His performances attracted interest from several Premier League clubs, but it seems Arsenal has won the race for his signature.

Reports suggest that Calafiori has chosen the north London club as his preferred destination due to his respect for Arteta, whom he views as a 'top coach,' and the appeal of the proposed move.

The project that Arsenal are building, having finished second in the Premier League for the past two seasons, is also said to have played a significant role in Calafiori's decision. As a result, a personal agreement between the player and the club appears to be imminent.

Calafiori was instrumental in helping Bologna secure their first Champions League appearance since 1964, when the tournament was still known as the European Cup. His performances have drawn attention from clubs across Europe.

Other players, such as Joshua Zirkzee, who is closing in on a move to Manchester United, have also gained recognition under the tutelage of now-Juventus manager Thiago Motta.

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Even before his standout performances at the Euros, Calafiori had already caught the eye of many. Former Serie A executive Walter Sabatini believes that Arsenal have secured an exceptionally talented player in Calafiori.

Sabatini expressed his thoughts on Radio Sportiva, stating: "It's a disaster when strong, young players like him leave our league. €45million as a valuation is a huge sum, but the defenders are paid even more.

"I think it's the minimum for someone like him: left-footed, physically imposing, authoritative and with personality in the game.

"Let's remember what he did in the 96th minute against Croatia: he came out with the ball at his feet, ran forty meters, took on the defence and passed the ball. These are plays you only do if you have quality and courage, and the courage to take risks and to execute the action is something only great players can do."

According to Fabrizio Romano, there will be no issues regarding a personal agreement between Arsenal and Calafiori. The centre-half has reportedly confessed his obsession with the project that the Gunners are undertaking and believes Arteta is a top coach he wants to work under.

The transfer fee is now essentially the only thing to be negotiated with Bologna. An initial £42million is said to be the current offer, with the finer details yet to be finalised between the two clubs.

Calafiori clearly wishes to be an Arsenal player next season, and a deal could be wrapped up quickly amid reports that the Gunners hope he can join them on their preseason tour of the USA - meaning the defender would have to sign by July 21st.