Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella has been linked with a move to Liverpool this summer
Nicolo Barella is getting ready for a few weeks that could be pivotal for his career both on and off the field.
Having shelved initial plans to track Borussia Dortmund and England starlet Jude Bellingham when the market reopens – due to immense financial costs involved – Jurgen Klopp and the recruitment team at Anfield are busy mulling over their alternative options. Barella could be front and centre in that regard.
Barella is an intriguing option for the Reds alongside the other fantastic targets, such as Alexis Mac Allister, Mason Mount, and Ryan Gravenberch, as countless names continue to circulate. The three players could be targets for Liverpool, and the Italian still has a chance to arrive in the UK as a Champions League victor.
As they get ready to face Manchester City in the Champions League final on June 10, Barella and his Inter Milan team-mates are one step away from winning European honors this year. But that gathering at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul might only be the beginning of a summer-long Barella theme.
Inter may still be forced to sell any prized assets this summer due to lingering financial issues, and at a suggested €80 million, the 26-year-old Italy international falls into that category. Meanwhile, Liverpool offers premium quality for about half the price of, say, Bellingham.
Financially speaking, when the Reds finally get to work and try to spread out their budget, it will be a numbers game for them. But if Barella signs a contract to transfer to Anfield, what jersey number would he wear?
Currently, Luis Diaz and Cody Gakpo are given the numbers he wears, 23, for Inter and 18, for the Italian national team. However, given the club’s confirmation of four high-profile departures, it is not out of the question that those two decide to change things up before the 2023/2024 season.
James Milner (number 7), Naby Keita (number 8), Roberto Firmino (number 9) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (15) will all leave this summer, giving up coveted shirt numbers. Number 10 has remained vacant since Sadio Made left to join Bayern Munich in the summer of 2016. Also up for grabs are numbers 12, 16, 24, 25, and 30.