Sunday, July 14, 2024

Report: Personal terms agreed with Riccardo Calafiori

According to Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal have agreed personal terms with Riccardo Calafiori but a fee with Bologna is still being negotiated.

The Italy international, 22, has emerged as a main target for Mikel Arteta in the last couple of weeks and the Gunners have worked quickly to close a deal since the player returned home from the European Championships.

It’s claimed that Calafiori has been offered a five-year contract worth around €75,000 a week after tax, a significant increase on his terms at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara but significantly lower than most of the Arsenal first team.

Bologna are holding out for a fee in the region of €50 million with a chunk of that due to go to FC Basel who hold a sell-on clause.

Calafiori came through the ranks at AS Roma and had a six-month loan spell with Genoa before he was sold to Basel in 2022. After one season in Switzerland, he transferred to Bologna for €4 million. He’s earned five caps for his country this summer, three of them at Euro 2024.

A left-sided centre-half who can play left-back and likes to dribble with the ball, Calafiori has been coveted by Juventus and remains linked with Chelsea.

If a deal is completed, it’ll be interesting to see how he fits in at the Emirates. We assume someone will have to make way with Oleksandr Zinchenko and Jakub Kiwior the most likely candidates.

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Johnny 4 Hats

I came up with a song for him (I’m not bored, you’re bored).

(To the tune of that ‘just one cornetto’ advert from the 90’s)

Give him to me,
The greatest left back,
In history.
He’s better than Maldini.
From Italy!

Like and subscribe, like and subscribe


So we call you Johnny 5 hats now?


I’m definitely bored Johnny, nevertheless i shall not jinx things by making up songs for a player who hasn’t signed yet 🤐 please go knock on wood three times and do whatever one does with a rabbits foot (no dear god not that! i meant for luck)


Yes Johnny, you’ll have to:
“Dream of Calafiorication,
Dream of Calafiorication,
Dream of Calafiorication.”

Johnny 4 Hats

By the Red Hot Little Chilli Peppers

Johnny 4 Hats

You said the exact same thing after I came up with my Higuain song.

I keep telling you mate, jinxes don’t exist.


Maybe it’s because that time you didn’t make up a new one but simply adopted Napoli’s song. “GOOOONZALLLLOOOOOO? Higuaaiiinn!!!”

And what a fabulous career he had for us.

Johnny 4 Hats

Did anyone else think for the entirety of their childhood that at the start of Football Italia the shout was “gooooaaaaall Lazio!!!”?

Probably just me.

P. S. Love you starboy. Couldn’t be prouder.


Yes. Yes i did.
You mean to say that it wasn’t?


Haha yes I did

Mayor McCheese

As Tupac once said, “Calafiori, knows how to party!”

Johnny 4 Hats

Yeah, but you never get your deposit back if you use it on walls.

Sorry. I’m thinking of BluTack.


I feel I’m owed some credit here, McCheese, but then again you’re the Mayor and who am I to question your absolute authority.

Mayor McCheese

And when, as is inevitable, that he puts one the opposition forwards in his pocket, we can sing, “Welcome to the Hotel Calafiori!”


Or conversely when during the xmas period he plays an opposition player onside to score “Calafiori dreamin’ on such a winter’s day…”

Dr. Gooner

Such a lovely place

Crash Fistfight

I think you should’ve done it to the tune of O Sole Mio, instead.


Nice player. But does splashing £50m on another defender mean we skimp on the forward line yet again?

For the 5th summer running it looks like we will neglect the most important part of the pitch. I for one hope we are not relying on Trossard to score every game again next season. Because we can’t. I will wait to be pleasantly surprised that a £50m plus attacker is in the works as well.

Greg in Seattle

Agree with the concern and worry the plans still involve counting on Jesus health/productivity, which looks increasingly foolish. At least his wages are on the low end. “Can” play left back doesn’t sound like that’s what he’s coming in for. What I watched of Italy was pretty dire, so hope they see something in his metrics and skillset to recommend him as an upgrade on…someone. It’s a big-ass fee for a depth piece. If Timber is healthy that’s who I want on the left side.

Johnny 4 Hats

Don’t worry. The mystery German plays in the exact position you think we need to fill before we start buying left backs.


We DEFINITELY need a midfielder, be it one with room to grow (and let Partey finish out his contract) or a full replacement. A forward would be nice, but maybe we really do believe in bounce backs from our Gabriels… If they hit form and fitness, we might be ok (I’d still like an add there). But seems zinny and kiwior are probably goners rather than gooners next season.


Not necessarily. Depending on the payment structure significant funds could still be available for other acquisitions. My guess is that’s what’s still being negotiated.


Agree that £50 million sounds steep, but that’s not the number that’s being thrown around right now. If he can add quality we’re missing in the left back position, while being dependable backup for Gabriel, then he is a really exciting player that could fit perfectly. I don’t know enough about how he is as a leftback, but when a young talent like this becomes available in a position where we need to strengthen, we should definitely explore it. Another aspect is the reported interest in Kiwior, and I hope the club has a good sense of what we can… Read more »


Sure, but do we need to strengthen LCB? Gabriel, Kiwior, Saliba is playing there now for France. Timber has played there before.
If anything we need a different left back in the mould of the Turkish Kadioglu. Rather than yet another centre back.

For me, it is a total waste of resources. That should instead be used on a young CM and then the rest put entirely on the top end of the pitch.


I agree with most of what you’re saying: we don’t need an upgrade for LCB. But we do need one at LB. Arteta, like Pep, seem to favor centerbacks in the fullback positions. If Calafiori fits the profile at LB and is able to do some of the things that Kiwior isn’t in that position, then an upgrade makes sense. That he can cover for Gabriel makes him more valuable, assuming Kiwior leaves if we bring him in. Arteta has always wanted left footed players at LCB, and I expect he wants to avoid employing Saliba or Timber there at… Read more »


Fair points. Can see a situation where some fan favourites are tossed aside sooner or later. Gabriel and White are at risk now.
All I want is to see some threat and danger in our team. We already have the best defence in the league, and it’s not even close. Our buildup is not bad, but our forward line scares nobody. That is not what Arsenal is about. We will not beat Bayern next season with another left back who may or may not start on the bench.


Depends on the plan. I have a feeling we will start inverting from Right back. Rice won’t stay at left 8 much longer. Not enough attacking threat. Ans if he plays 6 then he likes to drift left. So an inverting right back – timber or white – gives us balance and allows the left 8 to be a more offensive player in the 4th channel. Eze ? In that scenario – we need a left back that tucks as a left centre half. Calafiori and tomi look perfect for that. Zinchenko is redundant in that scenario and kiwior looks… Read more »

Absolute Camel

This actually makes sense

Man Manny

Did you think of Benjamin White as the right-back he has become when Arteta signed him?

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

Heard Zinchenko is wanted by Bayern. Arteta is perhaps trying to replace him before we sell. Not necessarily Wenger’s way of buying talented players for the future and play them in another position because there was already a starting XI and the new player remains in the new position for their rest of his career.


I like Califoiri, but Arteta has signed 3 forwards in 5 years – one being Willian.

Dr. Gooner

The concept of defenders in static formations is antiquated but deeply engrained. This transfer only makes sense if you view the system like Arteta does. He doesn’t think about a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2. That’s 5th grade level stuff. Arteta has his post-doc in forging a dynamic, adaptive, and context specific set of constructs for his players for each type of scenario; in and out of possession, winning, even or losing game states, opposition half or own half, etc. Broadly speaking, Arsenal builds in a 3-2-5 in our own half. We see this shape a lot because it’s the vehicle… Read more »

om suley

wow. thank you for that analysis. you’ve opened my brain to new ways to view a football match as well.

poetry mate. chapeau.

Absolute Camel

This is why he’s an exciting signing. I think most people just don’t think of things in such an in depth way.


Very well said! Now watch Arteta play him in midfield…😂

karl g

That fee is euros and not pounds, so is around £43m. Being as they are still negotiating, it means Arsenal are trying to pay less I expect. With the player having already agreed terms and wanting our club, it puts us in a stronger position.


Wouldn’t be surprised to see both Zinchenko and Kiwior depart if this goes though


A LCB who can play LB, interestingly similar to a player we already have… to me this suggests Arteta doesn’t see Kiwior as the long term solution at either positions (or he does but Kiwior has perhaps had his head turned by all those Italian clubs gifting him happy end truffle oil massages and the likes) which is a shame because I’d have really loved to see him get a run at his natural position of LCB at some point. Either way I can’t see Jakob staying now with the logjam we’re going to have at both of his positions.… Read more »


I’m sympathetic. Free truffle oil is hard to turn down …

Declan Fried Rice with Egg

Especially if it’s on your cock


Fried Rice Declan seems to be keen on Daveos’ eggs…
Go get ’em tiger 🤭


Yep, damning for Kiwior. RC may be a better player, but the question is this how 1/3 of our summer budget should be allocated? Sure we need a strong foundation. But I’m getting pretty tired of this hoarding of defensive players, who then get ditched after a season. While we end up relying on Trossard to bail us out for goals in the final 6 weeks of the season, and we have very little attacking quality on the bench. There better be a serious forward signing in the works, because it is clear as day that is what we need… Read more »

Dr. Gooner

In a minority of games against the really elite teams, it does come down to moments of individual brilliance. Everyone wants a game breaker like KdB or a Vinnie Jr. (And this is why the UCL is dominated by Madrid). Arguably Arsenal already have ours with Bukayo Saka. But individual brilliance is not a reliable way to win games week in and week out. No matter who the forwards are, the vast majority of games and therefore a league trophy is won by the team that is the most consistent in creating chances and stopping opponents from creating them. Chance… Read more »


Who is this mystery serious forward that you think we are going to sign? We aren’t going to drop another 100m on a single player this year…

The Isak talk isn’t serious. Same with Oshimen. Nico Williams and Zirkee are not coming. Gyorkes is doubtful at his price tag (notice there are no serious rumors about him moving anywhere).


Our very own Maldini, and one will even be better than Maldini in years to come. Can’t wait for the season to start! Coyg!


Maldini one of the greatest defenders of all time, this guy maybe good but you have gone way over the top.on not much evidence.

Dr. Gooner

The profiles are similar, graceful left sided defenders with size and aggression. Calafiori doesn’t quite have Maldini’s strength and ability to clamp runners as well, not yet, and probably won’t rise to quite that level but if he’s only 80% as good as an inter generational legend like Maldini, that’s still quite a find.

Mayor McCheese

If only!

Btw, I have to imagine that agent Jorginho had a helping hand in this.

Allora, grazie mille mio caro Tumnus!

John C

Contrary to the last paragraph this is a move that makes total sense to me.

A left back and generally fixing the left side is surely the transfer priority this window and Calafiori has the exact look and feel of an Arteta signing to me.

And also what is this bullshit that because he’s Italian he naturally wants to sign for Juventus i keep hear being regurgitated?

Juve are the Man Utd of Italian football, they are hated by a sizable percentage of Italian football fans. its quite possible, given that Calafiori is from Rome that he’s one of them.

Dr. Gooner

Enthusiastic thumbs up.


We’re gonna finish 24/25 with 0 GA.


2 goals and 5 assists in the league last season, for those worried we’re not prioritising attack.


A bit like what Gvardiol is doing at City. Can shift into a back 3 but offers more in attack than Kiwior does.


If he’s first choice at LB, could Gabriel, Saliba, White, Tomyasu and Timber be enough defenders? Meaning Zinchenko, Tierney, Tavares AND Kiwior are for sale?


Could be, Tierney and Tavares aren’t in the team anyway, Kiwior just isn’t versatile enough and there are buyers interested, maybe Zinchenko stays, depending if there are offers. If Zinchenko and Kiwior both go I think there’d be another full back coming in.

I miss santi cazorla

What’s your obsession with the left back Mikel?


I would assume he is looking for the equivalent of White from the left?
A better defender than Zini,
a better ball controller than Kiwi,
a more positionally flexible than Tierney.
A Ziwey.


Perhaps as a kid he was often left back behind.

Ooh summer rain think ill get my coat


You forgot Taverez

I miss santi cazorla

Haha… makes it even worse.

Dr. Gooner

Trying to find a good one that can play in his system. Zinchenko was such a revelation initially because he was the first one who understood how Mikel wanted to build from the back and was able to translate that on the pitch. But now we have evolved to the point that we are not reliant on him for that and need ore physicality from that role. That’s how Timber ended up there in preseason. Now the gap is being addressed with a specialist signing tailor made for the role.

Forest gooner

That’s true Dr.


Beach Boys – Calafiorn-I-A

A different George

I hope I am wrong, but I think this only makes sense if he is viewed as a medium-term (not this coming season but one of the next two after) replacement for Gabriel. It’s pretty clear now that all the stuff at the beginning of last season was connected to a possible move to the Saudi league.Was that issue *permanently* resolved? I just don’t see a 22 year old centre half who is good enough for Italy agreeing to this deal without some understanding that he will have a real chance to start in a year or two. By the… Read more »

The Soup Dragon

The last time we took a chance like this for big money on a high injury risk was probably on Overmars. Hopefully this works out just as well.

Bossman Bill

Don’t know anything about him but I want him based on the fact we pretty much don’t sign Italians ever and this would be fun.

Let the hand gestures begin.


..and the counter for how many times we’ll lip read “vaffanculo!!” When Anthony Taylor is officiating


*raises eyebrows quizzically in Jorginho*

Left Testicle



Not sure if there’s any need for this position. Even if we are letting go Kiwoir , I’m pretty sure we won’t get 50m for him. Think we are quite stock on LB with Timber able to play there as well as Tomi. My worry is Gabriel (CB) head got turned again like the start of last season when he was benched. Thus the need to spend to get a LCB. Hope I’m wrong


Doesn’t 50mil feel rather steep for a player earning just 75k a week? I don’t know how player valuations work to be honest, most seem arbitrary as fuk. But in Mikel and Edu I trust (albeit, in purchases rather than selling). Curious on my fellow gooners’ opinion as well: which player would you rather sell to make space for the new lad, Zinny or Kiwior? I’d keep Zinny and sell Kiwior to be honest. I haven’t forgotten how he got roasted by Sane in the UCL, and I watched the Poland vs France game this euro and Dembele had him… Read more »


I think if he comes, Kiwior will push for a move and Arsenal won’t stop him. Zinny may also realize that his minutes are limited, and with two years left on his contract, it’s a good time for Arsenal to sell if we can get a decent fee.

Getting way ahead of things… If both those deals were to happen, I can actually see us keeping Tierney at least until January since we can’t sell him for much. He’d be a decent option to have from the bench when fit and we need something a bit different.


Tierney is gone, if both those deals happen then we’ll sign another versatile full back, there’s no point in keeping a permanently injured and not versatile Tierney.


Yes and yes, and… I don’t doubt that we’ll sell Tierney if we can, I just can’t see us getting any money for him right now, and hope the days of paying players to leave are over. There were times last season when we could have used him, he is a better fit for a winger like Trossard than he is for a Martinelli.


Have you just seen what west ham paid for kilman?


The 50% buy on clause in probably jacking up the price. His notable performances this euros also.


I’d definitely sell Kiwior over Zinny. One of them transformed how we play and on his day can dictate play, the other has been dependable but unexceptional.

Dr. Gooner

This is the upgrade on Zinchenko. I predict we never see him at LB for Arsenal again unless injuries force our hand.

Dr. Gooner

Kiwior was a depth signing. He did ok. Now his time is done.


Rumour has it he is here to replace Big Gab. Gabriel has had his head turned by Saudi money, and he was promised he will be let go this season for a reasonable fee if he stayed last.


Oh. Yeah, that makes sense. Otherwise, getting the most out of all that defensive talent would mean Timber or the new regazzo as a 6.




“… remains linked with Chelsea.”
I reckon that’s shorthand for; “is known to be available, has quite a high price and has a few clubs interested, at least one of which is a PL side. This ticks all the boxes for Turd Boiler to gazump any deal by chucking in ONE HUNDRED BILLION POUNDS!!1!!”


Not sure people realise that he could be replacing Gabriel. Arteta is ruthless. Maybe he’s not forgiven him for dallying with the Saudi league… I wouldn’t be surprised


No chance


Yeah I think that’s exactly what this transfer is coming in to replace. People talking about Kiwior or Zinny, no it’s for Gabriel who MA thinks can be upgraded, hence why he kept him out of the team at the start of the season.

Dr. Gooner

Yeah but then this season happened. Gabriel not only made himself indispensable as Saliba’s perfect complement and 1/2 of the league’s best CB pairing, he also earned a promotion with on the ball responsibilities he didn’t have before. Only stupid money would tempt us to sell him now.

John C

If you were getting into the real 1% marginal gains i would say that temperamentally Gabriel would be a potential area for improvement.

He did make sloppy passes against Bayern, which lead to their 1st goal and against Villa, which lead to Watkins hitting the post but considering we have more obvious areas of concern it’s very unlikely, unless a Saudi team is offering looney money of course.


I had the same thought but I don’t think MA would take that big of a risk. It would have to be north of 100m to even be worth considering. Even then, you can’t expect a 22yr old from Italy to play 50 games as well as big Gab.


Zinchenkgo to bayern on the cards?


would make sense as we’ve evolved beyond him now


We’ve got too many defenders and not enough strikers.

Dr. Gooner

Look at Man City’s squad. That’s the standard. Can we roll out 4 of 6-7 top quality players every week? If not then we don’t have enough. Besides that, there’s a gap in quality with their options and ours after the first 4. Then there are major injury concerns over Tomiyasu and Timber is coming off an ACL. Reinforcements absolutely needed.

Dias-Big Gabi
Gvardiol-Kiwior —> Calafiori

John C

That’s not something you thought you’d say 10 years ago!


I daresay we’ll get the inevitable 11th hour bombing from those cheating blue cunts down by the Thames, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can get this one over the line, as he is undoubtedly a fine player.

Piss off, Chelsea.


Tall, powerful, and technically astute.
But also injured a lot.
I am unsure about this potential signing.
I would rather that we focus on a defensive midfielder to replace Partey, a winger to take the strain off Saka, and a striker to compete with Havertz – in that order.
We will also need a goalie I think.


The club is probably focused on all those things, Calafiori will be the first one completed, that’s all.


Yeah whatever.. great thing I saw tonight was Saka smashing in an incredible goal, by passing Luke shaw to celebrate with Ramsbo on the touchline, Arsenal through and through, superb from Buyako..

karl g

A great signing, if it gets completed. A lot of Martinelli’s problems and generally down the left come from a lack of fluidity from left back. Calafiori looks a really positive force that could solves some of those issues.


A clear upgrade on Kiwior as a multi-purpose left sided defender. Would expect Kiwior to move to Italy now.



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