Premier League giants Arsenal remain interested in the services of Empoli’s breakout star Samuele Ricci.

According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, as relayed by Sport Witness, Arsenal are among the clubs interested in Samuele Ricci. The North London outfit have been monitoring the progress of the young Empoli midfielder for quite some time now, having notably initiated talks with the Italian club around a year ago.

A product of the Empoli youth academy, Ricci has established himself as one of the most exciting midfield talents in Italy since his breakthrough in the 2019/20 campaign. At the age of just 20, the youngster has notched up 86 competitive appearances for the club, 18 of which have come in Serie A this term.

A defensive midfielder by trade, Ricci has made a solid impression with his composure on the ball. His maturity and positioning awareness have further enhanced his reputation in Italy, with many labelling him as the “mini Jorginho”. Ricci’s rapid rise to prominence has not gone unnoticed either, with Arsenal keeping close tabs on his progress at Empoli.

The Gunners are in the market for midfield reinforcements this month in light of their lack of depth. Thomas Partey is unavailable due to the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, whereas Ainsley Maitland-Niles has recently joined AS Roma on a loan deal.

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Mohamed Elneny, who is also away at AFCON, could leave the club amid interest from Newcastle United, potentially leaving Mikel Arteta with Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga as his only options in the middle of the park.

In an attempt to mitigate the crisis, Arteta is reportedly preparing a €20 million January swoop for Palmeiras midfielder Danilo. The Spaniard has also expressed interest in signing Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz, but it remains unlikely that either of them will leave their respective clubs this month. That is where Samuele Ricci could prove to be an interesting alternative.

The report does suggest that Arsenal have not made any moves to sign the Empoli youngster in January. But given their current situation in the midfield department, it won’t be surprising to see the north Londoners table a bid for the Italian, who seems more than prepared to take the next step in his career.

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