Arsenal are interested in the prospect of signing Nicolo Barella in the summer, and sent scouts to watch him in action for Italy according to reports.
Barella started for Italy against Finland, in what was just his fourth appearance for his country. He starred in the 2-0 win on Saturday, scoring the first goal of his international career as early as seven minutes into the game.
Arsenal are looking for potential replacements for the departing Aaron Ramsey. The Welshman has been a crucial player for the Gunners for 11 years now, but has surprisingly been allowed to leave the club for nothing. Juventus have pounced on him and will make him one of the best paid players in the world when he joins up with them next season.
Arsenal are now searching for a player who could be brilliant for them for years to come. Barella, who is only 22 years old, appears to fit that bill perfectly. The midfielder has been a regular for Cagliari this season, with a total of 29 appearances. He has scored and assisted once in those appearances.
Barella has attracted interest from quite a few clubs. The likes of Napoli and Chelsea were both reportedly very keen on the youngster, while Inter Milan are said to have been keeping an eye without really making a straightforward approach for him.
According to Cagliari’s president Tommaso Giulini, Napoli and Chelsea were very eager to sign him in January, but the player was never close to leaving.
‘Barella was never close to a January exit. I cannot deny that there was concrete interest from Napoli in January,’ Giulini said, speaking to Corriere Dello Sport.
‘Maurizio Sarri also wanted him at Chelsea. As for Inter, that was just a chat, nothing more.’
According to the latest reports from La Gazzetta Dello Sport though, Arsenal are eager to beat the competition and swoop in for Barella’s signature. The only issue though, is that his asking price could potentially be in the region of £43 million.
‘Maybe it’ll take more, seeing as next year it is his beloved Cagliari’s Centenary,’ Giulini added.
Unai Emery is not guaranteed to have a lot of funds in the summer transfer window. His side are currently involved in a tight race with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Should they fail to do so, a move for Barella would be highly unlikely given midfield is not the only area of the squad that needs strengthening.