Premier League • England

Threat of ‘monstrous’ Liverpool bid for world class midfielder causes panic, with talks to be brought forward

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

A gigantic Liverpool bid for confirmed midfield target Nicolo Barella will be difficult for Inter Milan to reject, and a report claims the risk of a Sandro Tonali repeat could be around the corner.

Barella, 26, is unquestionably one of world football’s premier midfielders. The all-action Italian was named Serie A midfielder of the year in both the 2020/21 and 2022/23 campaigns. Barella has also been selected in each of the last five Serie A teams of the year.

Liverpool’s admiration of Barella dates back many a year. Indeed, ahead of a Champions League tie between Inter and Liverpool back in 2022 – in which Barella missed out through suspension – Jurgen Klopp said: “That Barella is not able to play is not bad for us.

“He’s a really good player, a really good player and I like him a lot.

“He has all the things you want from a midfield player. He is aggressive, he is technical, he can run for ages and all these kinds of things. That’s a top-class player.”

Barella is under contract with Inter until the summer of 2026. As such, you might expect the Italian giant to be well-placed to reject any and all approaches that come for their midfield talisman.

However, reports in Spain recently claimed Liverpool, Newcastle and Chelsea are all casting their eye over Barella ahead of a potential swoop next summer.

Now, according to a fresh update from L’Interista, Simone Inzaghi’s side are desperate to avoid losing their star man just like city rivals AC Milan did regarding Sandro Tonali last summer.

Inter to accelerate contract talks as Liverpool lay in wait

Milan sold Tonali to Newcastle for £55m and it’s claimed Inter do not want to mirror their bitter rivals by losing a top class star to the riches of the Premier League.

On that front, Liverpool are understood to be showing ‘great interest’ in Barella, something that is prompting Inter to accelerate talks over a new contract.

Inter hope to tack on an additional two years to Barella’s existing contract. If successful, Barella would be tied down until 2028 and Inter’s bargaining position would be strengthened.

However, it’s suggested palms will begin to get sweaty over at Inter if Barella hasn’t put pen to paper when the next summer window is approaching.

At that stage, Barella will be about to enter the last two years of his contract and a ‘monstrous offer’ from Liverpool could spark a reluctant sale.

Indeed, the report describes the situation as ‘it is not certain that Inter, faced with the prospect of getting dangerously close to the deadline, would have the strength to say no.’

Inter’s decision-makers are fully aware of the potential problem that awaits them. As such, they reportedly plan to bring forward discussions with Barella over a new deal and talks should take place in early-2024.

All eyes will now be on how those accelerated discussions fare. As Klopp alluded to, Barella looks tailor-made for his Liverpool midfield.

Various Italian outlets over the last 12 months have put Barella’s valuation in the €60m-€80m range.

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