According to a recent report by Corriere della Sera, Chelsea have been asked to cough up a whopping fee of £45m to secure the services of Nicolo Barella from Cagliari. The same report has also revealed that the Pensioners will face stiff competition from Napoli and Inter Milan in pursuit of the Serie A wonderkid. Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is on the lookout for a new midfielder to replace Cesc Fabregas, who is on his way to finalising his transfer to AS Monaco this month, and Barella fits the bill perfectly.

The Italian youngster is widely regarded as one of the most promising young prospects in European football after he put in a string of eye-catching performances for Cagliari over the past couple of seasons. He came through the youth ranks of his boyhood club and had finally managed to establish himself as a regular first-team starter for the Italian outfit this term.

The 21-year-old has made 20 appearances for Cagliari in this campaign and has one goal to his name which came in a 1-0 victory over Atlanta back in September last year. The Cagliari-born starlet played an integral part in helping his local club retain their top-flight status last season which goes to show how far he has come under Rolando Maran’s tutelage in the recent past. Thus, it is no surprise that an elite club like Chelsea are looking to recruit him during this ongoing transfer window.

Barella has managed to earn four international caps for the Italian national team after representing his nation at every youth level from Under-15 to Under-21s. His steady progression in Italian football has been nothing short of remarkable.

The Italian winger is quite smart with his footwork and can make some lung-bursting runs behind the opposition defence to make space and create opportunities for his teammates. He is also blessed with incredible vision and can distribute the ball with accuracy while operating as a central midfielder. However, he still needs to work on his upper body to develop the strength required to stand the test of Premier League football.

If Sarri wants Barella in his squad, then it could be a fantastic signing for Chelsea in the long-run as he has the potential to be nurtured into a world-class midfielder. However, if the Pensioners are looking to bring him in as just another young prospect who would immediately go out on loan to continue with his development away from Stamford Bridge, then the West London giants are better off spending the money on a more immediate solution.

Barella might have all the attributes to test himself in English football, but he is not worth £45m at this moment. Having said that, he has incredible potential which is why Cagliari is asking for such an inflated fee for their prized asset.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.