Napoli and Atalanta battle for Malmo defender Ahmedhodzic amid Premier League interest

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Serie A rivals Napoli and Atalanta are ready to battle for the signature of Malmo defender Anel Ahmedhodzic with Premier League clubs also interested, Goal can reveal.

The 22-year-old Bosnia-Herzegovina international central defender - who was born and raised in Sweden - has impressed with Malmo and last season was named both best defender and best young player in the Allsvenskan.

Ahmedhodzic is now ready to step up to a bigger European league, and is attracting interest from both England and Italy.

Who wants Ahmedhodzic?

Atalanta have been on the trail of the defender - who has a Swedish mother and Bosnian father - since January, however Napoli have emerged with concrete interest in recent weeks.

Interest in Ahmedhodzic has intensified after his impressive performance for Bosnia-Herzegovina in their 2022 World Cup qualifier at home to France in March. The 2018 champions won the game 1-0, but Ahmedhodzic was widely praised for his work keeping Kylian Mbappe very quiet.

Napoli view Ahmedhodzic as a potential replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly, a long-term target for Manchester United and others, while they have also seen defender Nikola Maksimovic depart after his contract expired.

AC Milan have also shown an interest, and have contacted Ahmedhodzic's agent Markus Rosenberg, however the attempts of Napoli and Atalanta to sign him are more concrete at this stage.

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How much will he cost?

Malmo are demanding €8 million (£7m/$10m) for Ahmedhodzic, with Napoli currently offering nearer €5m (£4m/$6m).

What about the English interest?

Goal understands that a couple of unnamed Premier League clubs have made contact with Ahmedhodzic's representatives, however there have been no firm offers thus far.

Ahmedhodzic has some experience of English football, having spent three years at Nottingham Forest between 2016 and 2019 - however he made only one league appearance, a Championship clash with Newcastle in 2017.

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