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Arsenal now the favourites to sign Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori

Arsenal have the most concrete interest in signing Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori outside of Italy, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.

The Italy international had an impressive 2023/24 campaign with the Serie A outfit. He was ever-present in their backline as they qualified for the Champions League.

Calafiori went on to impress for the Azzurri at the European Championship and Bologna now face the prospect of losing his services in the current transfer window.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italy recently, Bologna technical director Giovanni Sartori said the club would prefer to keep the 22-year-old in their ranks for another year.

If he decides to move on, the club chief insisted the defender may have to move abroad as he is unlikely to be granted a transfer to Serie A rivals Juventus.

Calafiori could replace Kiwior at the Gunners

Calafiori has made a huge impression since his move to Bologna from Basel last summer.

He formed a brilliant centre-back partnership with Jhon Lucumi for the Serie A outfit and also made a handful of appearances at left-back.

His versatility could be one of the prime reasons behind the Gunners interest. Arsenal appear to be eyeing a versatile left-footed defender to replace Jakub Kiwior.

Calafiori would be an upgrade on him. The Italian made 37 appearances for Bologna last term, registering two goals and five assists. He had a passing accuracy of 90 percent.

The versatile star registered 1.7 interceptions, 1.6 tackles and 2.5 clearances per league game.

He also made an impressive 6.5 ball recoveries on average and was brilliant with his aerial challenges. He won 71 percent of his aerial duels during the Serie A campaign.

By contrast, Kiwior won only 59 percent of his aerial duels with 1.8 recoveries. The Pole had a passing accuracy of 85 percent and looked vulnerable against a direct runner.

Calafiori could be prised away for £34 million and Arsenal could recoup part of the fee with Kiwior’s exit.

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