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    Arsenal ‘open talks’ to beat Chelsea to summer deal

    Arsenal are have opened talks with Bologna over a deal to sign centre-back Riccardo Calafiori, according to reprts.

    Calafiori, 22, rose to international prominence this summer after a sensational Serie A campaign, putting in some impressive showings for Italy at Euro 2024 before his side’s shock elimination at the last 16 stage.

    With Calafiori’s focus now back on his club future, the Daily Mail state Arsenal have made contact with Bologna to try and strike a deal.

    Talks are also on with Calafiori’s representatives as the Gunners look to wrap up a deal and avoid late pressure from fellow suitors Chelsea.

    Corriere dello Sport even go as far as to say Arsenal have already seen a bid of €47m (£39.8m) rejected for the defender.

    Riccardo Calafiori

    Arsenal are chasing Calafiori / Claudio Villa/GettyImages

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    Bologna are said to be standing firm to an asking price of €50m (£42.3m), not least because of an agreement which will see Calafiori’s former club, Swiss side Basel, receive a whopping 40% of any transfer fee.

    Interestingly, during his time at Basel, Calafiori named Chelsea as one of the two Premier League sides he “really likes”.

    Key to Calafiori’s appeal is the fact he is left-footed and comfortable at left-back. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has long favoured the use of an inverted full-back, while new Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca also likes his wide defenders to be capable in central areas.

    Real Madrid, Juventus and Liverpool have all been credited with interest in Calafiori, but it is Arsenal and Chelsea who are making the biggest pushes at this point.

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