It’s no secret that Newcastle and Liverpool were both interested in Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella this summer and details have emerged about why a move didn’t take place.
Both Eddie Howe and Jurgen Klopp were desperate to add to their midfield options this summer. Liverpool had to completely rebuild their midfield while Newcastle have been preparing for life in the Champions League.
Earlier in the summer, it had been claimed that Inter were prepared to listen to offers for Barella at the right price. Reports suggested that they valued him around the £68.6m mark.
Newcastle first tried their luck to sign the 26-year-old, but they were ultimately unsuccessful in their approach. As soon as the deal looked unlikely, they swiftly moved on to alternative targets.
In the end, they did snap up an Italian midfielder from Serie A as they managed to prize Sandro Tonali away from his boyhood club AC Milan.
Considering that Barella was their initial target, it is interesting to learn why the move ultimately didn’t materialise for Howe’s side.
As reported by Sport Witness, Newcastle made the ‘most direct’ approach to sign Barella this summer, but they ultimately found the ‘door closed’ by the player and club.
When Newcastle found out that a move for Barella was no longer realistic, they quickly turned their attention to his Italian teammate Tonali.
Newcastle got a good deal in the end
There’s no doubt that Barella would have made for an excellent signing for Howe’s side, but the club should be credited for acting as quickly as they did.
Once a deal for the Inter midfielder was no longer realistic, they wasted no time in pursuing alternative targets. While Tonali and Barella are different types of players, they both have an excellent reputation in European football.
Barella enjoyed another successful year with Inter and has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or following an impressive season at club level. The 26-year-old was also a nominee back in 2021.
Newcastle won’t have many regrets over missing out on Barella as Tonali has already started to settle into life in the north of England well.
The 23-year-old made an instant impact at his new club after scoring on his debut against Aston Villa. Tonali will be looking forward to returning to the San Siro as Newcastle drew AC Milan in their Champions League group.
“I hope he gets the reception that he deserves for what he did for the club and how much he loves Milan,” Howe told reporters when discussing the Champions League tie.
“I am sure he’s looking forward to the game. I won’t go into much detail, but I think he was pleased to return home.”