A report from La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that two big European clubs are interested in signing Nicolo Barella this summer. The 26-year-old recently starred for the Nerazzurri in their quarter-final victory over Benfica in the Champions League, playing an instrumental role in their qualification over both legs.
Gazzetta write that Barella’s role in the team is vital as he represents the ‘Italian soul’ of the team and is expected to be a staple of next season’s squad, given his contract doesn’t expire until 2026. That could be jeopardized by Inter failing to qualify for the next edition of the Champions League, given that they currently sit 6th in table, and the report claims that should a big offer be presented, a sale cannot be ruled out.
Barella has long been in the crosshairs of Liverpool, who in recent days, have withdrawn from the race to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, given the cost for the Englishman could come close to €150m.
Gazzetta point to comments from former Liverpool centre-back Jamie Carragher, who was quoted as saying: “Barella is fantastic. I have heard these rumors that my Liverpool would be on his trail for next season and I would be happy if they were true. The problem is that after the two games against Benfica, his price will have risen by at least another €15 million.”
Inter have almost settled their 2022-23 budget by reaching the Champions League semifinals, but may still be forced to sell a big player this summer, should they remain outside of the top four at seasons end. Gazzetta point out that Inter will have to continue to comply with the rules set in their FFP settlement agreement that calls for a decrease in the clubs payroll, which may also influence any decision making.
Liverpool are reportedly watching the situation closely, but they may face competition from Ligue 1 champions elect PSG, who are also keen on Barella and have been observing his performances. Gazzetta point to his Azzurri teammate Marco Verratti, who would only speak highly of the player who he works so closely with in the national team.