2XCA333 Dortmund, Germany. 15th June 2024. DORTMUND, GERMANY - JUNE 15: Riccardo Calafiori of Italy looks up during the Group B - UEFA EURO 2024 match between Italy and Albania at Signal Iduna Park on June 15, 2024 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Joris Verwijst/BSR Agency) Credit: BSR Agency/Alamy Live News Credit: BSR Agency/Alamy Live News

Sources in England & Italy claim Liverpool interest in centre-back – with 7 other clubs

Claims of Liverpool’s interest in Bologna centre-back Riccardo Calafiori have been backed up in England and Italy, though they are facing major competition.

With Calafiori impressing as part of the Italy defence at this summer’s Euros, it is no surprise that the 22-year-old is attracting wider interest.

That, it appears, includes Liverpool, who were first reported to have contacted Bologna over his availability by The Athletic‘s James Horncastle earlier this month.

While sources on Merseyside insist that – unless the opportunity arises to bring in Lille youngster Leny Yoro – a centre-back signing is not a priority, logic suggests options will be considered.

Given Calafiori’s profile as a progressive, left-sided centre-back, and the loss of Joel Matip this summer, he is undoubtedly an appealing candidate.

Horncastle’s information has now been backed up by the Times‘ Gary Jacob and local source Corriere di Bologna, in the print edition of their Thursday newspaper.

Jacob claims that Juventus, Tottenham, Newcastle, Brighton and West Ham are also interested in Calafiori, while Corriere di Bologna add Real Madrid and Arsenal to that list.

It is suggested by the latter that Liverpool are preparing a “substantial offer” for the defender, though claims of a €40 million (£33.9m) price tag seem lost in translation.

Complicating any negotiations with Bologna is the presence of a sell-on clause in his contract with the Serie A club, which Horncastle reported as being worth “around 40 percent and 50 percent.”

That means any fee received for his transfer could be evenly split with Calafiori’s former side FC Basel, which is likely to drive up Bologna’s price tag.

For their part, Bologna will hope to keep their No. 33 as they prepare for a campaign in the Champions League, and as they are now able to offer him top-tier European football, they can present a more convincing case.

As with most of Liverpool’s proposed transfer business this summer, any deal for Calafiori would almost certainly be left to wait until later in the summer.

Italy have progressed to the last 16 of the Euros, where they will face Switzerland on Saturday, and if they progress they will meet either England or Slovakia in the quarter-finals.