Riccardo Calafiori wants Arsenal transfer for three reasons and is 'obsessed' by move

Riccardo Calafiori of Italy looks on prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 round of 16 match between Switzerland and Italy at Olympiastadion on June 29, 2024 in Berlin, Germany
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images for FIGC)

Arsenal's potential deal for Riccardo Calafiori is expected to proceed smoothly as he is excited about the prospect of working under Mikel Arteta.

Despite Italy's early exit from Euro 2024, Calafiori boosted his reputation as a composed and reliable central defender. His performances attracted interest from several Premier League clubs, but it was Arsenal that caught his eye.

Reports suggest Calafiori has chosen Arsenal due to his admiration for Arteta, who he describes as a 'top coach'. It's also understood that he believes he could win trophies with the club due to their finish last season, which saw them take Manchester City to the final day of the Premier League.

Moreover, it's also been reported that he is "obsessed" with the Gunners' current project and playing style, which has been gathering even more pace with every passing year. Having helped Bologna secure Champions League qualification for the first time since 1964, Calafiori was among a group of players who garnered attention across Europe, reports the Mirror.

He turned many heads while playing under Thiago Motta, who recently became the manager of Juventus. Nevertheless, his reputation was blossoming before Bologna's historic campaign. Calafiori, who made three appearances for Italy in the European Championships, had already made an impression on former Serie A executive Walter Sabatini.

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While speaking to Radio Sportiva, Sabatini said: "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."

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

But Calafiori's purported desire to join Arsenal would speed up any potential transfer. There are even reports his services could be secured in time for him to join the Gunners on their preseason tour of the USA. For this to happen, the transfer would have to be finalised by July 21st.