Chelsea and Manchester United look set to battle it out for the signature of Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella, who is valued at £50m.
The 21-year-old is one of the most highly-rated young players in Serie A and a number of European heavyweights are known to be following his progress with interest.
Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) claims that Manchester United are ‘very lively’ in their pursuit of Barella, who would find it ‘impossible to say no’ if an official offer was made. United are one of the few clubs who would be willing and able to pay Barella’s £50m price tag.
The report also claims that Inter want to sign Barella, but the threat of Financial Fair Play repercussions means that they would have to pay the fee in instalments, supplemented with young players thrown in to sweeten the pill.
Chelsea turn to Barella after missing out on Leandro Paredes, with L’Equipe reporting that Paris Saint-Germain have reached an agreement to sign the Argentine midfielder from Zenit St Petersburg for £34.9m.
The Mirror claims that Cagliari have issued an ultimatum demanding that clubs interested in Barella – including Chelsea – either meet the youngster’s valuation or turn their attentions elsewhere.
Barella seems to have a mature head on his young shoulders and has insisted that he is happy at his hometown club, but he knows that a move away is necessary for him to achieve his full potential.