Premier League transfer news: Arsenal eye another Serie A prospect

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta with the ball

Arsenal are interested in signing teenage midfielder Samuele Ricci from Empoli this summer, as reported by Tuttomercatoweb.

What's the latest transfer news involving Ricci?

The Gunners have made contact with Ricci's agent, Federico Pastorello, to discuss the possibility of bringing the youngster over to the Premier League. 

Leicester are also keen on Ricci, and have held talks with his representatives, although there is an understanding that a limitation on work permits due to Brexit could be an obstacle in any potential deal.

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How much is he worth and when does his contract expire?

The 19-year-old is currently valued at £8.1m by Transfermarkt, a significant fee for a player who is yet to appear in Serie A.

His contract at Empoli is set to expire in June 2022.

What are Ricci's stats this season?

Ricci has featured in 29 games in Serie B this term, and has two goals and four assists to his name. His side are currently five points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand, and have only lost one league game all year.

Having performed well for his club, Ricci has been rewarded by being called up to the Italy under-21s this season. He made his debut for the team in October, and has now played in three matches - with the side winning all of them.

Has Ricci got many admirers?

Indeed he does.

Last year, Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio reported on his website that Ricci had attracted interest from across the country.

Napoli and Fiorentina were linked with him, and some highly-rated coaches were also very impressed by Ricci.

Ralf Rangnick was said to be tracking Ricci for months, and wanted to bring him to AC Milan if he had been named manager of the Rossoneri. In the end, Stefano Pioli was kept on as head coach at Milan.

Meanwhile, Lucian Favre, the Borussia Dortmund manager at the time, was also following Ricci's progress and loved what he saw.

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Is a familiar pattern emerging at Arsenal?

Arsenal have recently been linked with Inter Milan youngster Martin Satriano, who has been blossoming for the side's youth team this season. Now, they appear to have their eye on another promising Italian talent. 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is building a team for the future, having given plenty of opportunities to the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe this season, and it appears the club are now looking towards Serie A.

Whether they can secure either player remains to be seen, but the recent indications suggest that Arteta and technical director Edu are keeping a close eye on what Italian youth football has to offer.

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