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Three Arsenal players face anxious wait as Mikel Arteta closes in on Riccardo Calafiori transfer

Jakub Kiwior and Oleksandr Zinchenko could leave Arsenal this summer
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


Arsenal are interested in signing Bologna's Riccardo Calafiori this summer. The 22-year-old impressed for Italy at Euro 2024 and has attracted significant attention from the Gunners.

Mikel Arteta is keen to add another defender to his squad despite having a solid record at the back last season. In fact, no team conceded fewer goals in the Premier League (29) than the Gunners, while they kept the most clean sheets (18) out of anyone in the top-flight during the 2023/24 campaign.

But Calafiori has emerged as a serious target for Arsenal as they look to bolster that area of the pitch ahead of another potential title challenge. A strong and robust defender, Calafiori can be used anywhere across the back in line, including in the centre or on the left side of the back four.

Reports have suggested that the Gunners have agreed a deal for Calafiori. A five-year deal is in place for him to move to north London, with Bologna hoping to collect around £43million for his services.

However, if Calafiori does move to the Emirates Stadium, that could hasten the departures of Jakub Kiwior and Oleksandr Zinchenko, both of whom were utilised at left-back last season. Both players have been linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium in the summer transfer window.

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It's unknown whether the club would have to sell first before buying Calafiori, but it's likely at least one of Kiwior, Zinchenko or Takehiro Tomiyasu could depart if the Italian is signed. The return of Jurrien Timber from an anterior cruciate ligament injury is set to heighten the competition for places, too.

Kiwior has been heavily linked with a move back to Serie A, less than 18 months since moving to the Gunners from Spezia. Inter Milan and Juventus are among his potential suitors. It has been reported that Arsenal are willing to listen to offers for the 24-year-old. He could leave on loan, but only with an obligation to buy at the end of the season. Kiwior made 30 appearances in all competitions last season.

As for Zinchenko, he has two years left on his contract but has not yet been offered a new deal, which indicates the club might be willing to sell him. The Ukrainian is coming off the back of a campaign where he admitted he was not at his best level. The 27-year-old played 35 times last season.

Arsenal also have the prospect of dealing with the futures of both Kieran Tierney and Nuno Tavares. The duo spent last season out on loan and are not part of Arteta's plans going into the 2024/25 season. Tierney was at Real Sociedad while Tavares spent the campaign at Nottingham Forest.