Inter Milan are hopeful that an impending bidding war between Arsenal and Chelsea can help drive up the asking price for young midfielder Cesare Casadei.
The 19-year-old star is tipped for big things in Italy amid claims he is soon ready to push for a place in Simone Izaghi’s first-team squad. He scored 16 goals from midfield last season for their youth side, also winning the vote as their best young player.
And his abilities have already alerted Chelsea, with Todd Boehly reportedly asking about Casadei during negotiations over Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku ultimately ended up signing for Inter in a straight loan deal. And despite the Blues’ interest in a number of their stars – including Milan Skriniar and Denzel Dumfries – the two clubs kept negotiations separate.
Now the Blues are seemingly ready to push through with their efforts to sign Casadei. To that end, a report on Saturday suggested the Blues are have made an offer in the region of £5.9m to £6.7m (€7m to €8m).
Despite being yet to make his senior debut, Inter are refusing to let him go without a fight. Indeed, La Repubblica claims Inter have responded by rejecting the approach.
That said, hope remained for Chelsea amid claims an offer of around £8.4m (€10m) will be enough to convince them to sell.
However, La Repubblica claims Arsenal are looking to hijack the transfer from Chelsea’s grasp.
And as a result of both clubs’ interest, the paper claims Inter are now banking on a fee nearer the £16.8m (€20m) mark.
It’s doubtful if either club would go quite so high for a player yet to appear for Inter’s first team.
Chelsea ready for new bid to lure Cesare Casadei
That said, the paper does now expect Chelsea to launch a fresh approach for Casadei’s signature.
And Inter do need to sell some players this summer to ensure they fall in line with FFP restrictions.
To that end, they reportedly need to raise some €60m before the window shuts on September 1.
They could generate that figure with the sale alone of Skriniar. However, Inter would prefer to tie the Slovakian down to a new deal and allow the sales of others instead.
As such, the departure of Dumfries and Casadei could help them get closer to that target.
That said, it is Arsenal who perhaps are the best suitor for Casadei. The Gunners have illustrated under Mikel Arteta their tendancy to sign the top young talent around.
Their mantra is based around signing players who can develop at Arsenal and, ultimately only be sold for a profit. To that end, Casadei would fit that mold.
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Furthermore, Arteta remains keen to strengthen his midfield options before the window shuts.
Speaking on Saturday, Arteta admits they remain hopeful of more deals this summer.
“I’m happy with where the squad is now. But we’re still hoping to do something if the market allows,” he said.