Liverpool to pip Chelsea to star Italy midfielder - report

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during his side's 4-1 loss to Manchester City in the Premier League in April 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Liverpool look set to win the race to sign star Italy midfielder Nicolo Barella in the summer transfer window. 

That is according to Italian media outlet Calciomercato, who believe the Reds will pip Chelsea to the signature of their number one midfield target this summer. Barella, 26, was part of the Italy side that defeated England in the final of Euro 2020, and has since developed into one of the best performers in Serie A. 

Jürgen Klopp is said to be desperate to overhaul an ageing squad this summer, having seen his side limp out of the Premier League title race far too early this season. The battle now is to secure a top-four finish. Though, with Manchester United and Newcastle in top form behind Arsenal and Manchester City, it is looking increasingly unlikely they'll make the grade. 

Klopp is thought to be a huge admirer of Barella, who offers composure in possession as well as dynamic pressing of the ball. Liverpool have been criticised this term for not maintaining the fitness levels which drove them to the top-flight title in 2021. The likes of James Milner and Jordan Henderson have aged a great deal over the past couple of seasons, robbing Klopp of the intensity his sides boasted a few years ago. 

While there is a raft of impressive young midfielders coming through – including regulars Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott – there appears to be a distinct lack of midfielders in their prime around the squad. Barella would solve that issue. 

Inter are looking to cash in on a number of their stars this summer – with rumours of a new stadium in the pipeline – and are willing to listen to cut-price offers for some of their key men. Barella is estimated to be worth around €70 million to Inter – according to makret experts Transfermarkt – though it is believed the Italians would accept as little as €44m this summer. 

Chelsea were also interested, though their scattergun approach to transfers and coaching staff could put Barella off a move to West London. 

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Ed McCambridge
Staff Writer

Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Favourite FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.