Report: Liverpool Among Names In Chase For £34m Serie A Defender

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Premier League Clubs in Fierce Battle for Bologna Star Riccardo Calafiori

Riccardo Calafiori’s ascent in European football has been nothing short of remarkable. The young defender, currently plying his trade at Bologna, is drawing significant interest from several Premier League giants, including Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, and Newcastle United. As reported by TEAMTalk, “Tottenham are reportedly facing extra competition to sign Bologna star Riccardo Calafiori – with two other Premier League sides joining the race to recruit the Italian.” This surge in interest comes as no surprise given Calafiori’s impressive performances in Serie A and on the international stage.

Calafiori’s Journey from Roma to Bologna

Calafiori’s career began at Roma, where he signed his first professional contract at just 16 years old. However, his journey was nearly derailed by a serious knee injury that sidelined him for an extended period. Undeterred, Calafiori made his Roma debut in August 2020, earning sporadic appearances under managers Paulo Fonseca and Jose Mourinho. Despite Mourinho’s mixed feelings about the young defender, noting once that “In Serie A, there are (substitute) benches and then there are (Juventus) benches,” Calafiori’s potential was evident.

In August 2022, Calafiori made a pivotal move to FC Basel, where he showcased his talents in the Swiss Super League. His development continued to accelerate when he joined Bologna for £3.4m a year later, under the guidance of Thiago Motta. Motta’s decision to shift Calafiori from left-back to centre-back proved to be a masterstroke, unlocking the player’s full potential.

Rising Star in Serie A and Beyond

Calafiori’s performances for Bologna have not gone unnoticed. His solid displays earned him his first caps for Italy, where he now features in Luciano Spalletti’s defence for the Euros. Despite a minor setback with an own goal in Italy’s 1-0 loss to Spain, his reputation continues to grow.

TEAMTalk highlights that “new Liverpool boss Arne Slot is a reported admirer of the Italy international,” further indicating the broad interest in his services. Calafiori’s contract with Bologna runs until 2027, but with Premier League clubs circling, Bologna may find it challenging to retain their star defender.

Premier League Clubs Compete for Calafiori

The competition for Calafiori’s signature is intensifying. According to Tutto Juve, “Newcastle United and Chelsea are now competing with one another to secure his signature this summer.” Additionally, reports from TuttoMercatoWeb suggest that Chelsea, Newcastle, and Tottenham have already made contact with Bologna regarding a potential transfer. Real Madrid scouts have also been monitoring his performances at the Euros, adding another layer of intrigue to the transfer saga.

While Calafiori has expressed a desire to return to Roma in the future, he is equally keen on a move to the Premier League. In a 2022 interview with Voce Giallorossa, he revealed, “I have two images: Going back to Italy, perhaps in Rome, or my dream would be to play in the Premier League. I really like West Ham or Chelsea.”

The Future for Calafiori

As the transfer window heats up, it is clear that securing Calafiori will require a substantial bid. Bologna, preparing for a Champions League campaign, will be reluctant to part with their defensive lynchpin. Nevertheless, the lure of the Premier League and the substantial financial packages on offer could prove irresistible for both the club and the player.

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