Premier League • England

Arsenal and Leicester take first steps towards £25m forward transfer

Sassuolo forward Domenico Berardi

Arsenal and Leicester have both begun scouting £25m-rated Italy winger Domenico Berardi, though the Serie A heavyweights could pose a problem, per a source.

That’s according to Italian journalist Nicolo Schira who claims the 27-year-old Berardi is a man in demand. Predominantly a right winger, Berardi has long been earmarked for a move away from Sassuolo.

Berardi has developed into a constant menace down the flank, though is also capable of operating in central areas.

He played an integral role in Italy’s successful Euro 2020 campaign. At 27, the time could finally be right to test the waters at a bigger club. And if Schira’s tweet is anything to go by, there are no shortage of suitors prepared to roll the dice.

The journalist wrote ‘many clubs’ are monitoring Berardi ahead of a summer switch. The forward’s current contract expires in 2024, meaning this summer could be the perfect time for Sassuolo to cash in if a new contract isn’t in the pipeline.

Schira added Sassuolo will demand a €30m (£25m) fee for their captain. That could represent excellent value if the attacker is able to replicate his superb Serie A form elsewhere. He has bagged 12 goals and 14 assists in the current campaign from just 25 matches.

Arsenal, Leicester begin Berardi scouting missions

From the Premier League, Arsenal and Leicester have reportedly ‘sent their scouts’ to watch Berardi in recent weeks. That is the first step towards a potential transfer, though the pair will face stiff competition from Italy.

Serie A powerhouses AC Milan and Napoli could both enter the frame with their respective managers – Stefano Pioli and Luciano Spaletti – both deemed appreciative of Berardi’s talents.

Guendouzi will leave Arsenal this summer following successful Marseille loan

Guendouzi will leave Arsenal this summer following successful Marseille loan

Arsenal will sell Guendouzi this summer after a successful loan at Marseille

Bukayo Saka has made the right wing position his own at the Emirates this season. That could force a positional change for Berardi if he were brought to north London.

Another winger who could be on their radar this summer is Serge Gnabry. Football London recently claimed majority owner Stan Kroenke is preparing a ‘significant summer spend’ when the season concludes.

Calvert-Lewin to replace Lacazette?

Meanwhile, Arsenal have been urged to sign Dominic Calvert-Lewin who could be available this summer to replace Alexandre Lacazette, who shouldn’t be offered a new contract, says Perry Groves.

The Frenchman, 30, is out of contract at season’s end and it remains unclear at present whether he’ll pen fresh terms.

Reports have claimed that talks with Lacazette would have to wait until the summer while Arsenal mull over their options. But his recent upturn in form has prompted speculation they could accelerate their plans.

Arsenal striker Lacazette after scoring the winner against Wolves

However, speaking at the recent London Football Awards (via the Daily Star), former Arsenal favourite Perry Groves has explained why Lacazette shouldn’t be offered a new deal. That’s despite the striker playing an integral role in Arsenal’s recent surge into fourth spot.

“Without a shadow of a doubt, they need a centre-forward [in the summer],” said Groves.

“I don’t think they are going to re-sign Alexandre Lacazette. I am a big fan of Lacazette, the quality he brings players in around him with the physicality.

“Obviously his goalscoring output has dropped substantially over the last 18 months but the money and the wages he is on, I don’t think they will renew for that sort of money.”

On the subject of who Arsenal should sign to replace Lacazette, Groves named Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin as the prime candidate.

“I would bring in someone like [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin,” added Groves. “I think he would fit in perfect. His attitude is good, taught by Carlo Ancelotti and off the ball he can close down and press.”

If Everton fail to beat the drop this season, Calvert-Lewin is one of the likelier candidates to be moved on to help stabilise the club financially.

READ MORE: Arsenal tipped for huge winger upgrade with Kroenke preparing ‘significant’ summer spree