Arsenal and Leicester City will reportedly need to shell out a sum of €15 million to secure the signing of Empoli midfielder Samuele Ricci in the summer.
According to a report from La Nazione, Italian club Empoli have slapped a price tag of €15 million on talented midfield prodigy Samuele Ricci, who is a summer transfer target for Premier League bigwigs Arsenal and Leicester City.
Ricci is a product of the Empoli youth academy and has risen quite rapidly through the ranks to establish a foothold in the first-team. Since making his senior debut in 2019, the 19-year-old midfielder has accumulated 66 appearances for the Italian outfit.
Ricci has particularly enjoyed an impressive 2020/21 campaign as he contributed with two goals and four assists in 33 Serie B matches, helping Empoli earn promotion to the top-flight. And his growth and development over the last couple of years has seemingly put him on the radars of Arsenal as well as Leicester City.
For Arsenal, midfield is a department that will need reinforcing ahead of the next season. The Gunners are set to to lose Dani Ceballos with his loan deal running out now that their season is officially done. In addition, Thomas Partey has endured a forgetful debut campaign in England following a big-money transfer from Atletico Madrid last summer.
With there being a lack of clarity on the future of young midfielder Joe Willock, who thrived on loan at Newcastle United during the second half of the season, a new central midfielder becomes one of the major priorities for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal in the summer, with Ricci emerging as a transfer target, along with another youngster playing in Italy in the form of AS Roma’s breakout teenager Ebrima Darboe.
However, the north Londoners are set to face stiff competition from Premier League rivals Leicester City in pursuit of the 19-year-old Ricci. The Foxes, who yet again missed out on Champions League football on the final day of the season, will also be requiring additions to their midfield unit as the likes of Dennis Praet and Hamza Choudhury are staring at uncertain futures at the King Power Stadium.
Add to that, mainstay Youri Tielemans is courting interest from the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool. Irrespective of whether the Belgian international stays or leaves, Leicester would stand to benefit from signing someone of Ricci’s potential and promise.
And, as per the report, both Arsenal and Leicester have been in talks with the teenager’s representative Federico Pastorello, even as Empoli have set a transfer fee demand of €15 million for Ricci. It is even claimed that the Foxes are ready to offer the requested amount to pip their rivals to the 19-year-old’s signing. It now remains to be seen who comes out on top in this transfer battle ahead of the summer window.