Chelsea are reportedly exploring the possibility of a £60million bid for highly-rated Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella this summer.
The 24-year-old played a major role as Antonio Conte’s side recently claimed their first Serie A title in 11 years. Indeed, he featured in 35 league matches Inter and was named in the Serie A Team of the Season for the second successive campaign.
However, Inter’s success is expected to spark a transfer scramble for some of their top names. That includes the likes of strikers Romelu Lukaku and Lauturo Martinez, centre-back Milan Skriniar and Barella.
The Italian giants also need to balance the books, as they continue to feel the financial effects of Covid-19.
The Stamford Bridge outfit also wanted Barella during his time at Cagliari, while Maurizio Sarri was Chelsea boss.
Barella’s future is now expected to hinge on what Conte does with his own, as talk of a potential exit gathers pace. Despite winning the league, there are rumours that Conte could still walk away from the San Siro.
Asked whether he will remain in charge next season after the Scudetto success, Conte told Le Iene: “I’ll be staying or leaving Inter? Now we enjoy the celebrations, then we’ll meet and decide.
“We will choose the best destiny for Inter.”
Barella wants Conte to stay
Barella, meanwhile, has made his feelings clear about wanting Conte to stay, adding: “He has his own guidelines, the ones we have known for years. Just watch the games, you can see it.
“He’s great at everything, not just mentally, but tactically, in training. Last year we were Conte’s team. This year, we are Conte’s perfect team.
“Even before Atalanta scored six goals per game, we had the best attack, we have the best defence, we won the Scudetto.
“I can understand people saying they’d prefer a different style of play and possession. But Inter have opted for a style of play which suits the team’s characteristics.
“Why criticise a team that has done all this?”
Conte has been linked with a return to the Premier League to manage Tottenham. However, Inter bosses are keen to tie the former Chelsea boss down to a new deal.
As for Barella, he is set to put himself in the shop window again this summer when he features for Italy at Euro 2020.