Chelsea have reportedly joined Arsenal in the £43 million scrap for Italian midfielder Nicolo Barella, who was scouted in action for his national side last week.
If the report by The Sun is to be believed, Nicolo Barella could be in the middle of a transfer scrap between London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal in the summer transfer window. The Italian midfielder was scouted during Italy’s match against Finland last week, with Cagliari set to demand £43 million for him.
Nicolo Barella has made giant strides since breaking into the first-team setup at his boyhood club Cagliari in May 2015. While it wasn’t until the 2016-17 season that he managed to become a regular in the first-team squad, the player has not looked back since.
In fact, the Italian midfielder has even captained Cagliari in several games this season, only missing out whenever he was suspended. His exploits have also helped Barella make his international debut, while also shining the spotlight on him as far as interest from top clubs is concerned – Arsenal and Chelsea have been monitoring his progress.
Chelsea were, in fact, heavily linked with a move for Barella in the January transfer window as well, only to see a move fail to materialise. But, having failed to replace Cesc Fabregas upon the Spaniard’s move to AS Monaco, there is a vacancy in the Blues’ midfield department.
There could be more than one position up for grabs, in fact, as Mateo Kovacic could also return to Real Madrid for good upon the end of his loan spell. To add to their woes, Chelsea have been hit with a two-window transfer ban starting this summer. But, if they contest the ban, the West Londoners could have one window to get Barella on board at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal, on the other hand, have been scouting the 22-year-old for quite some time. And, the interest in him is quite justified, with Aaron Ramsey set to join Juventus in the summer. Considering Barella is capable of playing in an advanced position as well as in the middle of the park, chances are he could be the ideal replacement for the Welshman.
As per The Sun (h/t Gazzetta dello Sport), Chelsea, should they get a reprieve on their ban, and Arsenal are now set to go head-to-head in pursuit of Barella, who will likely have a £43 million price tag slapped on him by Cagliari, which could work against the Gunners. And so, it looks like both clubs have their own hurdles in their bid to land the Italian international.
But, interest from Inter Milan and Napoli also means there could be an all out transfer war in the race to sign Nicolo Barella. For now, it looks like Cagliari might find it tough to keep hold of their star midfielder and it remains to be seen if either of Chelsea or Arsenal manage to bring him to the Premier League.