Liverpool are interested in a summer transfer move for Inter Milan maestro Nicolo Barella, with I Nerazzurri reportedly resigned to ‘pave the way’ if their valuation is met.
What’s the latest on Nicolo Barella to Liverpool?
That’s according to Football Insider, who claim that Barella is a ‘top target’ for the Reds as manager Jurgen Klopp looks to fortify his midfield engine with iron-clad resolve after an uninspiring season.
Inter have slapped a £61m price tag on their man, the report continues, and with Liverpool indeed noted as front-runners to complete a swoop, a transfer might be forthcoming.
Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport has recently claimed that the 26-year-old is looking for a new footballing project this season after a lucrative stint with his outfit, and with Manchester United also enamoured by his skill set, Klopp and co need to act with swift conviction.
The news comes amid a swoop for Alexis Mac Allister too, with The Daily Mail having reported last week that the Reds are also leading the race for the Brighton midfielder’s signature.
Should Liverpool sign Nicolo Barella?
Succinctly, yes. With links surrounding the Anfield outfit’s intrigue in forging a deal for the Italian stretching and embedding themselves into the rumour mill, like roots of a tree, clinching Barella’s services would only enhance Liverpool’s prospects of success.
Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner are all departing upon the expiry of their contracts this summer, and while a deal to sign Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Alexis Mac Allister is firmly in the works, in Barella, one of the most robust and innately talented ball-players in Europe, Klopp could secure an upgrade of the highest order.
Having forged 181 appearances for Inter, Barella has scored 19 goals and supplied 48 assists, winning the Scudetto, the Coppa Italia and two Italian Super Cups and hailed as a “genius” by sports editor Mike Piellucci.
The 26-year-old has been in scintillating form this term and has plundered eight goals and nine assists from 46 displays across all competitions, instrumental in an emphatic Champions League campaign that currently has Simone Inzaghi’s men in touching distance of the finale.
Indeed, Inter defeated heated city rivals AC Milan 2-0 in the first leg of their semi-final tie, with Barella pulling the strings with a remarkable all-encompassing performance, completing 84% of his passes, making two key passes, three tackles and winning three of his seven ground duels, as per Sofascore – hailed as “unbelievable” by one podcaster.
As per FBref, the £157k-per-week gem ranks among the top 9% of midfielders across Europe’s big five leagues for rate of goals, the top 8% for rate of assists, the top 8% for shot-creating actions, the top 17% for progressive passes and the top 10% for progressive carries per 90, illustrating his prowess as a superlative creative outlet.
With those numbers in mind, it’s hardly a surprise that venerable Real Madrid legend Luka Modric is listed as a similar player to the 43-cap Italy star.
That bodes well for the success of Klopp’s midfield if he is indeed triumphant in his pursuit, with the Croatian Ballon d’Or winner one of the very best to have played the game from the centre of the park.
Lauded as a “monster” by Spanish veteran Raul Albiol, the 37-year-old Modric has played 482 matches for Los Blancos and been a key component to illustrious success in gleaning five Champions League trophies, three LaLiga titles and two Copa del Rey cups among a wealth of further honours.
He has been an incredible cog for Madrid and Croatia, and if Barella makes a move to Anfield, he can ramp the club into “different gear“, as he was praised by presenter Jack Collins.