According to several sources in Italy (relayed by Football Italia), Chelsea are in the fray for the signature of Cagliari midfielder Nicolò Barella.
#ChelseaFC reportedly launch a €50m bid for #Cagliari & #Italy midfielder Nicolo Barella https://t.co/SLPmV4TH06 #CFC pic.twitter.com/mCpPlHPSrP— footballitalia (@footballitalia) January 4, 2019
The 21-year-old has been a key player for the past 2.5 seasons at Serie A survivors Cagliari and has started to attract suitors from near and far. He's been specifically linked with Inter and Napoli, as well as Manchester United and Arsenal. Chelsea are just the latest to arrive on the scene.
Reports from Alfredo Pedullà — he of “hot days” fame during the whole Maurizio Sarri saga — and Gianluca Di Marzio say that the Blues are in fact interested in the player, who has been compared to midfield greats Steven Gerrard and Marco Tardelli due to his tenacity. However, his price would be steep, €50 million steep, to be exact.
There is, of course, a clear need for a new midfielder given Cesc Fàbregas’ impending exit from Stamford Bridge to help his former Arsenal teammate Thierry Henry in his first managerial enterprise at AS Monaco. Barella, who is a regular feature in lists of Europe’s best young talents in recent years, may not exactly be a new Cesc, but he can still be a fit in Sarri’s system.