Chelsea and Liverpool have reportedly set their sights on Nicolo Barella and Alessandro Bastoni over a possible double raid on Inter Milan.
According to a report by Italian outlet Leggo, Inter Milan could be bracing themselves for a difficult summer transfer window, despite clinching the Serie A title this season. With the Nerazzurri in a tricky financial condition, Chelsea and Liverpool are hoping to pry away Italian duo Nicolo Barella and Alessandro Bastoni from San Siro.
Both Barella and Bastoni have been integral members of the Inter Milan first-team squad under the tutelage of Antonio Conte and have played a major role in the Nerazzurri’s triumphant Serie A title-winning campaign this term. While Barella has been the chief creator for the Italian giants, Bastoni has held the fort firmly at the back, with both featuring heavily this season.
Having made meteoric progress over the last couple of campaigns, the duo have also established a foothold in the Italian national side. And, it is hardly surprising that both Barella and Bastoni have piqued the interest of some of the biggest clubs in the world, with Chelsea and Liverpool among their suitors heading into the summer transfer window.
The interest from Chelsea is not too surprising, considering Thiago Silva is in the twilight of his career, while captain Cesar Azpilicueta is into his thirties as well. Bastoni is, therefore, a viable target for the Blues. As for Barella, his addition could take some of the creative burden off of Mason Mount, who has carried the creative baton on his own for the Blues this season.
Liverpool, on the other hand, need a long-term replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who has coincidentally been linked with Inter Milan over a Bosman move. And, Barella could be just the player to fill the Dutchman’s boots at Anfield while being an upgrade as well. The interest in Bastoni is well informed as well, keeping in mind the Reds’ woes at the back this term.
While Virgil van Dijk should be fit in time to start the first game of the 2021/22 season, both Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have struggled with injuries in recent times, as has priority defensive target Ibrahima Konate. Therefore, Bastoni is an option worth considering for Liverpool, although they now face stiff competition from Chelsea in his pursuit.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan are bracing themselves for bids for just about every important player in their squad, including strike duo Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku. While Martinez is on the radars of the three bigwigs in Spain, Lukaku has been linked with former club Chelsea.
There is no shortage of interest in any of the defenders either, with Milan Skriniar a target for Manchester United and Tottenham, while Stefan de Vrij is linked with Liverpool and Manchester City. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Liverpool will need to loosen their purse strings considerably to land both Barella and Bastoni, who could cost up to a combined €130 million.
With Liverpool having their fair share of difficulties on the financial front, it will be interesting to see if they can raise the funds to land the Italian duo. Chelsea, to that end, might be better placed to swoop Barella and Bastoni away from Serie A champions Inter Milan this summer.