Edwards told Azzurri schemer is off limits, as Lille star emerges as leading Liverpool target

Date published: Saturday 3rd July 2021 1:42 - Matthew Briggs

Michael Edwards, Liverpool sporting director, pic via Liverpool FC

Inter Milan need to sell one more player this summer to balance their books, but it will not be Nicolo Barella, insists an Italian source.

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit Inter hard with no crowds, sponsorship deals hit and further restrictions limiting spending by Chinese authorities further complicating matters.

Inter owners Suning, a Chinese retailer, have secured a €275million financing deal with Oaktree. And there is a refinancing process in place for a  €375million bond sold by the club’s media unit.

The Nerazzurri have also had to trim their wage bill. And have already signed off on the sale of Achraf Hakimi to Paris Saint-Germain. The 22-year-old has only been in Italy for one season. But Inter need to raise funds and PSG could pay as much as €70m for the transfer.

Calciomercato report that one other player will need to be sacrificed to get Inter’s books looking more favourable. But they stipulate that reported Liverpool target Nicolo Barella will not be sold.

Barella has been mentioned as a target for Jurgen Klopp and after his super showing against Belgium on Friday the Daily Express picked up the baton.

Liverpool are said to be keen on the midfielder, who scored in the 2-1 quarter-final win over Belgium. It seemed a predictable link – Liverpool chasing a star of Euro 2020, but now the picture has become clearer.

It transpires Liverpool made an enquiry well before Barella’s starring role on Friday night.

Enrico Camelio from Radio Radio told the Calciomercato Show: “Liverpool asked for information for Barella, but for Inter they cannot be transferred. It ended there”.

 

That was apparently the end of the interest for Liverpool with Inter stating the Azzurri star was strictly off limits.

The 24-year-old has a contract with Inter until 2024 and is believed to be valued around the £60m mark. That though could rise significantly if Barella can guide Roberto Mancini’s men to European Championship glory.

What is clear is that Jurgen Klopp is looking for a midfielder, who can swell their ranks after losing Georginio Wijnaldum.


Have a read about England’s winning quarter-finals…


Sanches interest

Pedro Neto, Renato Sanches Portugal v Andorra November 2020

Liverpool’s  interest in Yves Bissouma and Florian Neuhaus is believed to have cooled. Christoph Baumgartner has also pledged his future to Hoffenheim to leave Klopp still looking for cover.

John McGinn and Ryan Gravenberch are two other names that have been thrown into the ring for Liverpool. But Goal report that Lille midfielder Renato Sanches is also on the club’s shortlist.

French newspaper L’Equipe also claims Liverpool and Arsenal are “very interested” in the Portuguese star.

The Ligue 1 side are looking to sell players to balance their books. Boubakary Soumare, Mike Maignan, Rominigue Kouame, Adama Soumaoro and Jose Fonte have all moved on.

The 23-year-old Sanches is on a deal in France until 2023. They might though be tempted to take advantage of Sanches’ standing after a series of good displays at Euro 2020.

The Reds may well have to bide their time. Sporting director Michael Edwards may need to offload as many as eight of Klopp’s fringe players before they can buy.

READ MORE: National heroes but club flops: Andriy Yarmolenko, Paul Pogba, Granit Xhaka and more

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