Premier League • England

Liverpool dealt damaging blow to hopes of sealing sensational Klopp midfield January coup

Nicolo Barella of Fc Internazionale controls the ball during the Serie A match beetween Torino Fc and Fc Internazionale at Stadio Olimpico on June 3, 2023 in Turin

Liverpool look set for a blow to their hopes of a January midfield coup, with a top Jurgen Klopp target poised to sign a new deal at his current club.

The Reds boss is still keen on adding another player to his engine room after a big summer of outgoings and incomings, with Klopp feeling that one more player is needed for his midfield rotation.

Brazilian youngster Andre has also been firmly on Liverpool’s radar, although Fulham appear to be the current frontrunners to sign the highly-rated Fluminense atar.

Indeed, latest reports suggest that the Anfield outfit have now officially given up on their hopes of bringing in Andre.

However, one player who very much remains on their radar is Inter Milan and Italy star Nicolo Barella.

Klopp has been a big fan of Barella for some time, with the 26-year-old having established himself as one of Italy’s best midfielders after initially making his mark at Cagliari.

A fee of between £70-80million has been mooted for the Inter ace, but it looks like the Serie A side are close to tying him down to a lucrative new contract.

The Nerazzurri have been hard at work over recent months to secure some of their top talent going forward, including the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Matteo Darmian, Federico Dimarco, Lautaro Martinez and Manchester United target Denzel Dumfries.

Inter showed last season that they can mix it with the best after reaching the Champions League final and they have maintained that form this term.

The Nerazzurri are currently top of Serie A, two points clear of Juventus, and have also reached the Champions League knockout stages with two group games still to go.

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Barella agent looking to secure Inter stay

And now Gazzetta dello Sport details how Inter recently met with Barella’s agent Alessandro Beltrami to start contract negotiations. The two parties will have another meeting soon and are keen to set up a new deal quickly to ward off suitors like Liverpool.

The report does add that while there is ‘no major urgency’, neither party want to delay and current indications suggest that the deal could be signed off early in the new year.

Barella currently earns around €5m net per season plus almost €1m in add-ons and this deal expires in 2026.

Gazzetta adds that the idea is to extend to 2028 and increase his salary a little, something the midfielder is content with – despite those continued links to Liverpool.

The Reds are back in action on Saturday when they head to Manchester City for a top-of-the-table Premier League clash.

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