Inter are allegedly close to completing the signing of Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella for a staggering fee of €50m.
The 22-year-old has had a superb season for the Rossoblu, featuring 35 times as the club successfully staved off relegation. Though the all-rounder netted just once, his vast skill-set and intelligence on the ball were vital in keeping Cagliari afloat.
Corriere dello Sport write that the youngster has agreed a contract to leave his boyhood side and could be unveiled as a Nerrazzurri player as soon as Monday, kick-starting a crucial summer of investment for the club.
Officials from the Champions League outfit will look to finalise a deal when they speak with their counterpart’s president Tommaso Giulini at an upcoming meeting involving all Serie A sides.
Barella is currently on international duty with Italy, for whom he scored his first goal in March, as they prepare for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The transfer represents savvy business for Inter, who appear to have beaten several elite clubs to the starlet’s signature. Rivals Juventus and Napoli were believed to be keeping an eye on Barella, whilst Chelsea and Manchester United were also sniffing around.
Having twice been named as the best Italian footballer born in 1997, the Milanese are adding a sizeable talent – who is equally adept in a defensive capacity as he is on the attack – to their underperforming squad.
Barella is precisely the kind of fearless, hungry player that incoming manager Antonio Conte needs to reinvigorate the sleeping giants, with the midfielder’s leadership qualities also well-documented.
The €50m sum will no doubt turn a few heads given the relative anonymity he has outside of his homeland, but that could prove to be a bargain in the long-term. With time to develop and grow, Barella may blossom into a truly devastating weapon in the Inter engine room.