© IMAGO

Arsenal are interested in signing Bologna defender Riccardo Calafiori, but they have identified two possible alternatives amid significant competition for the Euro 2024 star.

Calafiori, 22, starred during the group stages of the 2024 European Championship as Italy finished Group B in second place, and his absence against Switzerland was sorely felt.

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Luciano Spalletti’s side succumbed to a 2-0 defeat during their round of 16 tie on Saturday night and they certainly missed Calafiori, who was absent due to suspension.

READ MORE: Premier League summer transfers 2024 – All the Done Deals

Following his performances at the tournament, and his form for Bologna last season, Calafiori is now arguably the most sought-after defender in world football.

Juventus were believed to be leading the race for the Italian, but they are now less likely to sign him than before the start of Euro 2024.

Real Madrid, Chelsea and Arsenal are now three of the leading contenders to sign Calafiori this summer.

READ MORE: Real Madrid & PSG eye ambitious move for Arsenal superstar

According to Fabrizio Romano, via Football.London, Arsenal have scheduled an initial meeting regarding a move for the Italy international, although they are yet to submit a bid for the Bologna star.

Furthermore, Mikel Arteta’s side are also monitoring Nottingham Forest’s Murillo and Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi in the event that Calafiori is deemed unattainable. Arsenal’s interest in Murillo was first reported by FootballTransfers in early June.

Arsenal are interested in Italy international Riccardo Calafiori
© IMAGO – Arsenal are interested in Italy international Riccardo Calafiori

Why Juventus won’t sign Murillo

While Juventus remain in the race to sign Calafiori, they will not be challenging Arsenal for the signature of Nottingham Forest star Murillo.

That is because they are unable to sign any other non-EU players this summer, due to the arrivals of Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa and Vasilije Adzic from Podgorica.

Juventus remain interested in signing a new central defender, as per journalist Alfredo Pedulla, but a move for Murillo has been ruled out.

Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo is also wanted by Juventus, while Arsenal’s Jakub Kiwior is another target.

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