Former England and Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was impressed with the performances of Nicola Barella in the Champions League against Benfica recently. Whilst Serie A fans know how good Barella can be, it now seems that the rest of Europe are starting to take note.
The 26-year-old’s future seems uncertain, especially with Inter currently sitting in sixth place in Serie A and in danger of missing out on the top four and the lucrative Champions League spots. The two-legged Champions League semi-final against fierce rivals AC Milan could be crucial in deciding Barella’s future.
The Italian international started out his career Cagliari where he made 105 appearances before joining Inter in the summer of 2019, initially on loan with an obligation to buy the following summer. He played a vital role in the Scudetto-winning campaign in the 2020/2021 season, playing in 36 league games in which he scored four goals and nine assists in the process.
Barella has also become a mainstay in the Italian national team, so far being capped 43 times and scoring eight goals. He was a key member of the Azzurri team that went on to win Euro 2020, beating England in the final on penalties at Wembley.
Liverpool’s interest in Barella
English reports in recent months have suggested that Jurgen Klopp has sent scouts to watch Barella on a number of occasions this season, and the German has been impressed by what he has seen.
It’s not difficult to see why Jurgen Klopp is impressed by Barella, he has all the characteristics of a classic Klopp midfielder. His ability on and off the ball makes him an ideal fit for The Reds.
The energetic box-to-box midfielder is comfortable in both the attacking and defensive phases of play. The price tag, rumoured to be £70 million, is a lot more affordable than that rumoured for Jude Bellingham, a player that Liverpool reportedly dropped out of the running to sign.
Interest from elsewhere and Carragher’s warning
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Liverpool could face fierce competition for Barella’s signature, with PSG rumoured to also be keeping an eye on the talented Italian midfielder.
Inter will no doubt want to keep hold of the 26-year-old but no Champions League football next season could force their hand and spark a bidding war amongst Europe’s biggest clubs.
Liverpool legend and regular pundit Jamie Carragher suggested that Liverpool will have to pay a premium for Barella as they are a Premier League club, saying on CBS Sports Golazo: “He was fantastic. There’s actually talk of him being linked to my club Liverpool for next season, so that’s an extra £10 million we might have to pay on top of the price tag if it does happen.”