Arsenal and Leicester City are expected to shell out a sum of â¬ 15million to secure the signing of Empoli midfielder Samuele Ricci this summer.
According to a report by La Nazione, Italian club Empoli have slapped a â¬ 15million prize over talented midfielder prodigy Samuele Ricci, who is a summer transfer target for Premier League bigwigs Arsenal and Leicester City.
Ricci is a product of Empoli’s youth academy and rose through the ranks quickly enough to gain a foothold in the first team. Since making his senior debut in 2019, the 19-year-old midfielder has made 66 appearances for the Italian side.
Ricci in particular benefited from an impressive 2020/21 campaign, contributing with two goals and four assists in 33 Serie B appearances, helping Empoli to be promoted to the top flight. And his growth and development over the past two years has apparently put him on the radar of Arsenal as well as Leicester City.
For Arsenal, the midfielder is a department that will need to be strengthened before next season. The Gunners are set to lose Dani Ceballos as his loan deal has run out now that their season is officially over. Moreover, Thomas Partey suffered a forgetful debut campaign in England following a major money transfer from Atletico Madrid last summer.
With a lack of clarity on the future of young midfielder Joe Willock, who thrived on a loan to Newcastle United during the second half of the season, a new central midfielder becomes one of Mikel’s top priorities. Arteta and Arsenal this summer, with Ricci becoming a transfer target, with another youngster playing in Italy in the form of AS Roma teenager Ebrima Darboe.
However, the people of north London are expected to face stiff competition from Premier League rivals Leicester City in pursuit of 19-year-old Ricci. The Foxes, who once again missed out on Champions League football on the last day of the season, will also demand additions to their midfield unit as Dennis Praet and Hamza Choudhury look to an uncertain future at King Power Stadium.
Add to that, mainstay Youri Tielemans is courting the interest of Barcelona and Liverpool. Whether the Belgium international stays or leaves, Leicester would benefit from signing someone of Ricci’s potential and promise.
And, according to the report, Arsenal and Leicester have been in talks with teenager’s representative Federico Pastorello, even as Empoli has secured a â¬ 15million transfer fee request for Ricci. It is even claimed that the Foxes are willing to offer the requested amount to send their rivals to the 19-year-old’s signing. It now remains to be seen who emerges victorious from this transfer battle ahead of the summer window.