Liverpool target AGREES to join Arsenal as Gunners near £42m transfer

Liverpool are watching on as Arsenal take a major step towards signing Riccardo Calafiori. Should the Reds enter the race properly?

Fabrizio Romano reports that Arsenal are very close to signing Riccardo Calafiori from Bologna. The Gunners have been linked for a few weeks now and are in talks with the Italian club over a fee.

But they've already taken the biggest step: getting Calafiori on board. He's verbally agreed to join Arsenal after being offered a contract worth around £3.5m net per year.

"Riccardo Calafiori wants Arsenal, after the agreement on personal terms around €4m net salary on five years deal," Romano wrote on X. "Calafiori, keen on joining Arteta but club-to-club agreement with Bologna still being negotiated."

Calafiori was a revelation for the surprise-success story in Serie A last season. Bologna finished in the Champions League spots and the defender made Italy's Team of the Season.

That has naturally led to transfer stories linking him with various clubs. Arsenal are one of those, of course, but Liverpool are another.

The Athletic claims the Reds asked about Calafiori, but it appears that hasn't led to an actual offer. Instead, the Italian looks destined for Arsenal as Liverpool consider other targets.

It's something of a shame, as Calafiori is one of the best defenders they could sign this summer.

Do Liverpool need a centre-back?

The big question is whether Liverpool actually need a centre-back this summer. Joel Matip's exit opens the door to it, but it's possible that Jarell Quansah closed it again with his efforts last season.

It's clear that Liverpool tried to sign Leny Yoro from Lille, but Real Madrid lead the race there emphatically. Yoro, however, is seen as a sensational talent and the kind of player you sign regardless of need.

Calafiori isn't quite that - and it's likely why Liverpool are letting this one pass them by. Ultimately, there could be no centre-back arriving this summer.

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