If a report from the Italian outlet Calciomercato (as claimed by The Sun) is believed to be true, Chelsea are showing strong interest in Inter Milan star Nicolò Barella. But they are not alone in the hunt with Liverpool set to rival the Blues in order to reconstruct their midfield upon the conclusion of the ongoing campaign.
The 26-year-old Italy international progressed through the academy ranks of Cagliari. He went on to make 112 senior appearances for his boyhood club before leaving for Internazionale on a season-long loan. An obligation to buy with a four-year contract got triggered in the aftermath of the loan period and the Azzurri ace has since been a regular in the middle of the park having featured 173 times across competitions.
Meanwhile, the Nerazzurri are likely to accept an offer in the region of £44m for the midfield maestro.
Liverpool are expected to splash the majority of their transfer budget for Jude Bellingham and Chelsea, therefore, would be in the driver’s seat if a transfer battle takes place in the due course of time.
Both the English giants have been dreadful all throughout the campaign. While the Merseysiders have suffered due to an ageing midfield with little investment over the past few years, the Blues are far more superior financially as showcased by club owner Todd Boehly during the last two windows. He would continue the spending spree in the summer and a move for Barella should be pursued given the current conundrum in the centre of the pitch.
Why Chelsea Should Go For Barella
Chelsea might have ample options in midfield, but the majority of their first-team stars have failed miserably. While N’Golo Kante has struggled of late with persistent injury problems, Denis Zakaria is expected to return to his parent club Juventus following a forgettable loan spell.
Conor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are only good enough as squad options, whereas Mason Mount, the other academy graduate, is willing to explore a new challenge elsewhere after an underwhelming season. Carney Chukwuemeka is not ready yet to feature week in, and week out, however, the mediocrity of Mateo Kovacic exhibited of late has been alarming for the London side.
Chelsea brought in Enzo Fernandez from Benfica for a staggering £106.8m transfer fee on the winter deadline day. The Argentine, pivotal for his nation’s World Cup glory, has shown glimpses of his quality while attuning to the demands of the English game. Barella would be a decent coup for his swift passing, through balls and final deliveries, but the club must decide whether to go for him or prioritise a more physical option deep down the midfield.