Empoli FC v US Salernitana - Serie B
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Report: Arsenal in talks to sign 19-year-old midfielder but PL rivals could have an edge

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According to a report from TuttoMercatoWeb, Arsenal and Leicester City are battling to sign Empoli’s 19-year-old midfielder Samuele Ricci.

The teenager has been making a real name for himself for a couple of years now.

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Serie A giants Fiorentina, Napoli and AC Milan were all really keen to sign him last summer (Sky Italia), but the financial impact of the pandemic complicated things.

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Ricci stayed at Empoli and he’s had a fine season. He has played 32 times in all competitions for the Serie B outfit this term, and it is looking extremely likely that he won’t be in the second tier for much longer.

Arsenal have reportedly made contact with Ricci’s agent, Federico Pastorello. He also represents stars like Romelu Lukaku, Alex Meret and Malang Sarr, but the problem the Gunners might face is his relationship with Leicester City.

Pastorello represents Foxes star Kasper Schmeichel. He is also the agent of former Leicester players Andrej Kramaric, Demarai Gray and Islam Slimani, which could give the folks at the King Power a slight edge thanks to their previous relationship with Ricci’s agent.

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That could complicate things for Arsenal in their pursuit of Ricci. Leicester’s reported interest in the midfielder and their knowledge of how his agent works make it a fairly straightforward deal for them.

However, Edu knows his way around agents as well. The Brazilian has often been criticised for his ways on the transfer market, but his connections have helped us get multiple difficult deals over the line in the last few years.

He may have no relationship with Pastorello through Arsenal, but don’t be surprised if Edu finds a way to beat Leicester for his signature this summer.

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