Liverpool have added Nicolo Barella to their list of targets to bolster the midfield this summer.
Barella has long been seen as an ideal addition by some portions of the Liverpool fan base. And now, as per Gazzetta dello Sport, their wishes could become reality.
The Italian newspaper claims that the 26-year-old is on Liverpool’s summer shortlist alongside Jude Bellingham, Moises Caicedo and Matheus Nunes.
Barella is reportedly a long-term target for Jurgen Klopp. The Reds boss is said to have been deploying scouts to watch the Inter Milan player for ‘some time.’ It’s claimed that not only has Paul McGoldrick – Liverpool’s scout for Italy and Switzerland – been monitoring Barella, but head scout Barry Hunter has recently become involved, too.
Although Liverpool are said to be huge fans of the Italian, he’s reportedly happy where he is. With a good contract at Inter and of huge importance to the team, it’s claimed that Barella has ‘no reason to leave.’
However, Gazzetta also concede that it’s impossible to guess how the player, or Inter would react to an offer from Liverpool. Should they have any chance of getting the Nerazzurri to the table, it’s claimed that the Reds would have to offer something close to £71m. Interestingly, the report also links Liverpool with a move for Barella’s Inter teammate Alessandro Bastoni.
Barella a difficult deal to do for Liverpool
There’s no question that Barella is an attractive option for Liverpool right now. Capable of pretty much running a midfield by himself, he’d instantly slot into Klopp’s side.
But with Inter desperate to keep hold of him, and Barella himself happy at his club, there are easier targets to get.
All three of the other midfielders Gazzetta mentions are surely more get-able at this point. Bellingham is quite openly on the market for the right price, as is Caicedo and Wolves appear open to a deal for Matheus.
There’s also the small matter of the price-tag. Despite Brighton turning down a £60m bid for Caicedo in January, it seems that a lower fee could well get him this summer. Meanwhile, Nunes’ price-tag has been suggested as being around £55m.
Of course, Bellingham’s potential fee would blow Barella out of the water. But that’s exactly why Liverpool will have to find value elsewhere if they land the Borussia Dortmund man.
So, for now, it’s easier to rule out Barella ending up at Liverpool this summer than any of this trio. Klopp is clearly a huge fan of his and he’d be a great piece of business. But we can’t see it happening. Sorry.
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