Nicolo Barella is still a target for Liverpool, but a high price has been set

Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella is still a target for Liverpool despite links to a number of other teams, but his asking price might be too high.

In this summer’s transfer window, Barella has become a highly sought-after player. Newcastle is one team said to be interested in the 26-year-old.

The Italy international has been tipped to depart the San Siro after Inter’s loss to Man City in the Champions League final, and the Premier League appears to be his most likely destination.

Negotiations about a potential deal between Newcastle and Inter are “currently ongoing,” according to Miguel Delaney of the Independent.

Liverpool, on the other hand, are said to be “similarly interested” because they “feel his energy fits with exactly what they want from a second midfielder to complement Alexis Mac Allister.”

Mac Allister, a £35 million acquisition from Brighton, is anticipated to play the advanced, left-sided position in Jurgen Klopp’s midfield.

The right-sided position will be filled as the next top priority, and Barella is a good fit, though Delaney emphasizes that Liverpool, like Newcastle, “believe the price is currently far too high.”

Inter, who paid around £40 million to sign their No.23 from Cagliari in 2020, are looking for £80 million, with Newcastle only willing to pay £50 million.

Similar circumstances will exist at Anfield, where different targets, namely Khephren Thuram of OGC Nice, will be thought of as “more affordable.”

Ongoing interest in Barella, however, suggests Liverpool will keep an eye on the situation, just like their counterparts at St. James’ Park.

Though Thuram has been mentioned in the past, Newcastle themselves may decide to pursue other midfielders. Delaney suggests AC Milan’s Sandro Tonali and Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher as potential targets.

Given Barella’s profile, it comes as no surprise that Liverpool are interested in him; in fact, the two have previously been linked.

Claims date back to 2018 in his native Italy, and Liverpool journalist Neil Jones just reaffirmed interest this summer.

Pepijn Lijnders, the assistant manager, mentioned the midfielder several times in his book Intensity. In a column for The Athletic in 2021, he praised his “big heart and calmness.”

Before Liverpool’s Champions League match against Inter last season, Klopp even acknowledged he was “really happy” Barella couldn’t play.

He told reporters, “When we saw the [previous] game [when Inter defeated Salernitana 5-0], we were really happy Barella is not playing because he set up I think three or four!”

But at this point, it seems like at least £30 million separates Liverpool from simply expressing interest in a transfer.

Igbo Kennedy

Igbo Kennedy

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