Manchester United are reportedly set to send scouts to watch Italian midfielder Nicolo Barella, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea in the past.
According to Italian journalist Nicolo Schira of Gazzetta dello Sport, Manchester United will have a scout present to watch Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella in action when he takes the field against Napoli in Serie A action on Sunday night.
After what has been a disappointing 2018-19 season, Manchester United’s summer recruitment plans seem to be underway, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eyeing reinforcements across all areas of the pitch.
The Red Devils’ midfield department could certainly do with some strengthening with Ander Herrera reportedly close to sealing a free transfer to PSG once his contract expires at the end of the season, while Paul Pogba’s future is also far from certain amid interest from Real Madrid.
Summer signing Fred has hardly set the stage on fire since his big money move from Shakhtar Donetsk, while Nemanja Matic too has been off-colour for a large chunk of the campaign. And Manchester United have identified Barella as someone who could boost up their options in the middle of the park come next season.
The 22-year-old is a product of the Cagliari youth academy and broke into the senior team back in January 2015. He has gone on to feature 108 times for the Serie A outfit since, netting 7 goals and assisting 5 more. In the ongoing campaign, Barella has taken the field on 34 occasions, coming up with returns of 1 goal and 3 assists.
Regarded as one of the most promising young midfielders in Italy, Barella broke into the Italian national team in October last year and has collected five caps till date, scoring a solitary goal.
Able to play in the No. 10 role or as a box-to-box midfielder, the Cagliari starlet is known for his ability to win the ball in the midfield and carry it forward with purpose, making him a potentially a quality addition to this Manchester United side, who have often lacked that drive and dynamism in the middle of the park.
However, the 20-time English champions are not the only club interested in Barella. The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal and Chelsea, both of whom will be in requirement of new additions to the midfield come summer.
Barella, who is contracted with Cagliari till the summer of 2022, is valued around £43 million, a fee that shouldn’t be problematic for Manchester United. Moreover, with Chelsea facing a transfer ban and Arsenal operating on a tight budget they could have the edge in their pursuit of the 22-year-old. It, however, remains to be seen if they decide to act on their interest in the midfielder.