Newcastle are unwilling to pay anywhere near close to what Inter Milan are commanding for Liverpool target, Nicolo Barella, with a report claiming the Magpies could now switch focus to a different Italian ace.
Barella, 26, has just presided over another outstanding campaign at Inter. The midfield livewire was named in the Serie A team of the season for the fifth consecutive year and was a major factor in helping Inter advance to the Champions League final.
Barella’s relentless engine, technical ability and willingness to get stuck in look tailor-made for the faster-paced Premier League. As such, it’s come as no surprise to see England’s elite heavily linked.
Indeed, Newcastle and Liverpool have both shown interest and a fresh report from the Independent has shed light on what the future holds.
The newspaper report Magpies boss Eddie Howe is seeking to make a midfielder his main signing of the summer. Barella is in his sights, though Newcastle are reluctant to pay what Inter believe their star man is worth.
Inter reportedly value Barella around the £80m mark. The Independent state Newcastle ‘do not want to go above £50m’ for the 45-cap Italy international.
Differences in valuation can and often are overcome in the market. However, £30m is perhaps a stretch too far on this occasion.
As such, the door is ajar for Liverpool to strike, with the Reds still searching for midfield signing No 2.
Alexis Mac Allister was the first to arrive at Anfield this summer, though two further additions in the engine room are expected.
The Independent highlight Liverpool’s interest and with Newcastle at an impasse, Jurgen Klopp’s side appear to have a free run at Barella.
Inter’s £80m valuation could similarly pose a problem for Liverpool, with the report adding they also believe £80m is too high.
However, it’s noted Barella’s energy is ‘exactly what they want’ and given Liverpool’s dire need for midfield recruits, they may be more willing to go the extra mile on the financial end.
Reports in Italy have claimed Man Utd are a threat to hijack any Liverpool move for Barella. However, the Red Devils do not get a single mention in the Independent’s article which focuses primarily on Barella.
Newcastle could turn to Sandro Tonali instead
In the event Newcastle do pull the plug on signing Barella, the report notes two alternatives Newcastle would considering signing instead.
The first is Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, while the far sexier option would come in the form of AC Milan’s Sandro Tonali.
The classy Italian, 23, is a firm fixture in both Milan and Italy’s starting elevens as a deep-lying playmaker.
James Maddison remains in Newcastle’s sights too, though he’s viewed as more of an attack-minded midfield option and his potential transfer would not be affected by a move for Barella, Tonali or Gallagher.