Liverpool face a difficult proposition in their attempts to sign Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella, according to reports. Antonio Conte is reluctant to sell the 18-time Italy international.
This comes from Fabrizio Romano. The reputable journalist and transfer guru claims a move for Barella is unrealistic given Inter’s stance on the player.
“Barella is amazing, I have to say. He’s a fighter but also has the quality and scoring goals,” Romano said, as per the Here We Go Podcast.
“It’s normal, but at the moment there is nothing. Inter paid around 40m Euros, if they want to sign Barella today you’d have to pay around 80m Euro (£70m) at least. At the moment he’s not on the market.”
Barella features on a list of first-team players, which includes Romelu Lukaku and Stefan de Vrij, of which Inter consider to be untouchable.
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Well, that puts a swift end to that, then. Indeed, the prospect of signing Barella was an exciting one while it lasted. The former Cagliari star has been in sensational form this season, after all.
Barella has featured in every Serie A and Champions League match this season under former Chelsea manager Conte. During that period, he has clocked two goals and eight assists.
Also, some of the excitement surrounding Barella stemmed from the midfielder previously being likened to former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.
Back in 2015, Gazzetta Dello Sport ran a profile piece which dubbed Inter’s prized midfielder the ‘Sardinian Steven Gerrard’.
It’s easy to see the similarities, too. Barella, like Gerrard, is a versatile midfielder with an array of qualities who likes to get forward and make things happen in the final third.
This could have been of sufficient value to Liverpool, particularly with Wijnaldum expected to leave this summer.
Still, as Romano eluded to, Inter clearly are in no position to sell, plus Barella’s £70m asking-price would have been difficult to get around, too.
It’s back to the drawing board, then, for Liverpool in terms of viable alternatives should Wijnaldum indeed leave the club in the coming months.