Arsenal poised to sacrifice ‘popular’ player off the back of Riccardo Calafiori’s arrival

Riccardo Calafiori impressed for Italy at Euro 2024 (Image: Getty)

Arsenal are in pole position to sign Bologna’s standout defender Riccardo Calafiori. And that could potentially pave the way for Jakub Kiwior to exit amidst growing interest from Italian clubs, it’s been claimed.

Following eye-catching performances at Euro 2024 for Italy, Calafiori has attracted interest from several top European teams, with Premier League outfits particularly keen. It appears the Gunners are leading the chase, with negotiations over a transfer fee expected to commence imminently.

The aim is to integrate Calafiori into their ranks ahead of their pre-season tour in the USA. However, every new signing often signals a departure, and The Athletic suggests Arsenal may bid farewell to one of their defensive talents to accommodate Calafiori’s arrival.

Kiwior, who is said to be a ‘popular’ figure with his team-mates, is tipped to be the likely departure. His versatility as a centre-half or left-back mirrors the roles Calafiori would assume if he were to join the north London club, reports the Mirror.

Calafiori turned heads during the Euros, where he stood out in an otherwise underwhelming Italian team that saw their journey halted by Switzerland in the round of 16. Kiwior, who only joined Arsenal in January 2023, seems set to make way for him.

Arteta acknowledged the challenges faced by the Poland defender when rumours of his potential departure surfaced in March, saying: “We have made it difficult for him for two reasons. One, because he hasn’t played that many minutes, and the second one because we asked him to play in a position that he’s never played in before.

Jakub Kiwior could be headed for the Arsenal exit door (Image: Getty)

“So it’s like putting William Saliba as a full-back, and saying, ‘There we go, tomorrow go and perform and do what we have to do!’ It’s all about (adapting to players needs). In the end you can’t ask players to do things that they don’t feel especially capable of doing in a natural way, so we have to tweak a few things to make sure that the players play to their strengths.”

Another player who could be on the chopping block is Oleksandr Zinchenko. Valued at £38million by the Gunners, it is reported that Kiwior remains more likely to be the one who goes due to him gathering more interest than the Ukrainian.

Both AC Milan and Inter are said to have shown an interest in the latter, whom Arsenal value at £12.5m – a fee that would see them make a near £8m loss on his £20m signing.