Premier League • England

Fabrizio Romano confirms Arsenal scouting Italy talent after manager recommends Emirates move

Fiorentina star Michael Kayode

Arsenal are among a host of top clubs keeping tabs on Fiorentina starlet Michael Kayode, according to Fabrizio Romano – following one manager urging the right-back to join Mikel Arteta’s side.

Kayode is making waves in Italy, having forced his way into the Fiorentina team despite being only 19 years old. So far this season he has made nine appearances in Serie A and the Europa Conference League, though he is currently out of action due to injury.

Kayode’s impressive performances at club level have also seen him establish himself in Italy’s U21 squad.

The teenager could soon leave Italy, though. Arsenal were the first English club to be named as a potential suitor, only to be joined by Manchester United and Manchester City in the transfer pursuit.

But on Saturday, the Gunners were given a boost as Kayode’s former boss at Serie D club Gozzano, Antonio Soda, namechecked them when discussing where the full-back might head next.

“He doesn’t think about who he has in front of him,” Soda said.

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“He doesn’t do it on purpose, but because he relies on his qualities, since he also comes from the world of athletics. He is a guy who has respect and deserves everything he has achieved.

“I would take him to the European Championship, because he is a player who can become really strong, who has already been sought after by Arsenal.”

Fabrizio Romano reacts after Michael Kayode transfer suggestion

Soda added: “It depends on Fiorentina, which is an important club, but if they were to sell him, it would have to be a team like Arsenal. Serie A giants? It might already be too late, but he would be perfect to be entrusted with the right club for many years.”

That transfer recommendation has seen CaughtOffside quiz Romano on Kayode’s potential move away from Fiorentina.

The journalist has seemingly confirmed that Arsenal are one of the teams monitoring his performances, though there are no concrete transfer talks just yet.

“He [Kayode] signed a new deal with Fiorentina just three weeks ago,” Romano said.

“My understanding is that he’s very happy at Fiorentina and not close to any other club, so any links with Arsenal or others would just be about regular scouting activity by multiple clubs – we expect these clubs to keep an eye on one of the most talented full-backs in Serie A.

“He’s a very good player and one to watch for the future, for sure.”

Of course, Arteta can already rely on Ben White at right-back, while Takehiro Tomiyasu and Jurrien Timber are in his squad too.

Tomiyasu has shown his versatility by filling in at left-back on occasion this season, while Timber will miss a majority of the campaign after an ACL injury.

Clearly, Kayode would not walk straight into Arteta’s starting eleven. However, as he is just 19, it may be worth Arsenal taking a punt on him and trying to develop him into an elite right-back. Should he reach his exciting potential, then Kayode could eventually succeed from White on the right side of defence.

Meanwhile, a Premier League manager has directly responded to Arsenal’s interest in one of his best players.