2X5WW40 Naples, Italy. 11th May, 2024. Riccardo Calafiori of Bologna FC looks on during the serie A TIM match between SSC Napoli and Bologna FC at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on May 11, 2024 in Naples, Italy Credit: Giuseppe Maffia/Alamy Live News

Bologna chief has given Liverpool boost in hopes of Riccardo Calafiori transfer

Liverpool are reported to have enquired over Bologna centre-back Riccardo Calafiori this summer, and their technical director has now hinted at a move.

Calafiori has now departed Germany following Italy’s exit from the Euros at the hands of Switzerland, which could spark movement over a potential transfer.

While any talks with the 22-year-old will have been put on hold during his time at the tournament, developments are now likely with a number of clubs interested.

According to The Athletic‘s James Horncastle, Liverpool are among those to have enquired into Calafiori’s availability.

Juventus, Tottenham, Newcastle, Brighton, West Ham, Arsenal and Real Madrid have all been credited as suitors for the left-sided defender, though naturally there are varying degrees of interest.

Speaking at an event on Monday to mark the start of the Serie A transfer window, Bologna sporting director Giovanni Sartori admitted a deal was possible.

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

While he stressed that Bologna “want to keep” Calafiori, he accepted that “big offers” could lead to a sale, and his next step would “probably be abroad” rather than to Juventus.

“We only signed Calafiori 12 months ago, so we’ll see what happens, but in our minds we want to keep him,” Sartori said, per Football Italia.

“There has been talk of Juventus, but also many other clubs. If we were to receive big offers, we’d have to think about it.

“I don’t think he will go to Juventus, it will probably be abroad, but I repeat we will try to keep him.”

The chances of Bologna striking a deal with Juventus are claimed to have taken a hit due to the manner of manager Thiago Motta’s move to Turin earlier in the summer.

In Monday’s edition of La Gazetta Dello Sport, Liverpool were cited as a possible destination as Bologna set a price tag upwards of €40 million (£34m) for the defender.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham were also named, with it explained that Bologna could offer Calafiori a new contract to ward off a summer exit.

New Liverpool sporting director Richard Hughes already has strong ties in Italy having grown up in the country, with connections already in place at various clubs, while Bologna hold an interest in Reds defender Sepp van den Berg.

There is a clear vacancy in the first-team squad for another progressive, left-sided centre-back, even with Virgil van Dijk expected to stay beyond the final year of his contract.

At £34 million it would not be a major outlay for the club, though the exact terms of any deal would remain to be seen, with Calafiori’s former club FC Basel due a 40 percent cut of any fee.