Experienced Italian sporting director Walter Sabatini believes that if Italy defender Riccardo Calafiori leaves for the Premier League, where Arsenal are pushing to sign him, it will be ‘a disaster’ for Serie A.


Calafiori enjoyed an impressive campaign with Bologna last term, finishing with 33 appearances and helping his team secure a Champions League spot for next season.


He also shone at Euro 2024 with Italy recently and his displays on the international stage have only served to increase interest in him.



Arsenal are pushing hard to sign Calafiori and are in official talks with Bologna, while they have worked out a contract with his representatives.


Former Roma and Sampdoria sporting director Sabatini is disappointed at the prospect of seeing such a highly-rated defender leave Italy.



He feels that it is a disaster for Serie A to lose a young top defender such as Calafiori to the Premier League.


“It is a disaster when strong, young players like him leave our league”, Sabatini was quoted as saying by CalcioNapoli24.


The 69-year-old further took time to insist that the €45m price tag Bologna have put on him is a minimum for a player of Calafiori’s quality.



“€45m as a valuation is a large sum, but defenders have been bought for even more.


“I think it is the minimum for someone like him: left-footed, physically imposing, authoritative and with personality in the game.


“Let’s remember what he did in the 96th minute against Croatia: he came out with the ball, went forty metres, pointed at the defence and passed the ball.


“These are plays you can only make if you have quality and courage, and only great players have the courage to take risks and start the action.”


Juventus have also shown interest in Calafiori, a move which would keep him in Serie A, but the price has now become too high for the Bianconeri.