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Inter Milan could swoop in for Nicolo Barella

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It could be a ‘shoes on the other foot’ situation for the Nerazzurri.

Italy v Finland - UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier
Nicolo Barella of Italy celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group J qualifying match between Italy and Finland at Stadio Friuli on March 23, 2019 in Udine, Italy.
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Remember about a year ago when rumors were surfacing that former Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho was looking to pillage his former club for Manchester United?

Inter was in the throes of Financial Fair Play and it looked like Suning was going to have to part ways with several players to make the books balance.

Luckily, that really never happened.

However, Inter could be on the receiving end of another club’s misfortune this summer as Cagliari President Tommaso Giulini stated Sunday his club will likely finish the season in the red financially.

”This is the first season in which we are at Cagliari that we close to the budget in the red. Someone will have to leave …” Giulini said, following Cagliari’s win against Frosinone, as quoted by La Nuova Sardinia.

Then, he was quick to suggest that the “someone” needing to leave was not necessarily midfielder Nicolo Barella.

Uh huh … go on.

“But, it is not said that it is Barella, even if it is not right, if he wanted to let us, hold him back,” Giulini said.

The biggest issue with this kind of a statement is that Barella is the only player on the squad that has any significant value. According to Transfermarkt, Barella is currently worth around €30 million. The next closest player in value is center-forward Leonardo Pavoletti, whose value is around €10 million.

Bologna FC v Cagliari - Serie A
Nicolo Barella of Cagliari in action during the Serie A match between Bologna FC and Cagliari at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on March 10, 2019 in Bologna, Italy.
Photo by Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

This could be good news for Inter Milan as they have had their sights set on Barella for more than a year now. In January, Beppe Marotta, Javier Zanetti and Piero Ausilio met with Giulini to secure Barella, but it was Barella who elected to stay in Sardinia.

Barella would make a very solid addition to a weak midfield for the Nerazzurri, however the question would be whether Inter would pay the €40 million to €50 million Cagliari would likely ask for him?

Because of the current shambles Inter’s midfield is in and the fact that doing nothing in the transfer window would not make that situation any better, I can see Inter structuring a deal to make that happen as Barella would instantly infuse needed talent to go alongside Marcelo Brozovic and Matias Vecino in the center of the pitch.

Besides the potential that Barella blocks a move away from Cagliari is the fact that Napoli also expressed interest in the midfielder over the winter transfer window.

”De Laurentiis asked me they cannot deny it. The interest of Napoli in January was concrete,” Guilini said.

But, that interest could have waned since then.

Regardless, I think it is a good idea for Inter to maintain interest in the midfielder because of the potential he could bring to the club. While he has struggled this season – scoring just one goal in 33 appearances for Cagliari – his strength is in the central midfield where he can create chances for attack, but also maintain a strong defensive position.


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