Liverpool are apparently set to go head-to-head with Chelsea in the race to sign Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella this month, according to a report from The Express yesterday.
Klopp is thought to be keen on bolstering his options in midfield and with Barella’s future at Cagliari currently uncertain, the Italian is viewed as a possible option to pursue.
However, any potential deal is set to be complicated by Chelsea, with Maurizio Sarri viewing his countryman as the perfect replacement for the departing Cesc Fabregas, while Inter, AC Milan, Roma and Napoli are also thought to be in the mix to sign him.
Valued at €30m by Transfermarkt, it is believed that Cagliari bosses are hoping to hold out for a fee closer to the €50m mark for the 21-year-old’s services — a price it is believed many elite European sides are willing to pay.
Previously described by legendary midfielder Andrea Pirlo as “one of the best in Italy”, Barella has been a mainstay in Cagliari’s midfield since breaking out two years ago and is renowned for his technical ability and vision.
Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport once dubbed him as the “next Steven Gerrard”; if Barella can go on to have a career even half as good as Gerrard’s, he will have forged himself a very successful one.