Liverpool Reportedly Lead Race for €50M Cagliari Midfielder Nicolo Barella

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2018

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 29:  Nicolo Barella of Cagliari Calcio looks on during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and Cagliari at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on September 29, 2018 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Liverpool are reportedly monitoring Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella, who has also caught the eye of Inter and AC Milan.

According to La Nuova Sardegna (h/t Football Italia), the Reds have sent scouts to watch the 21-year-old, who made his Italy debut earlier this week.

Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport (h/t Football Italia) reported the Milan duo's interest, with Cagliari having priced Barella at €50 million (£44 million).

Despite his youth, Barella has been a stalwart for Cagliari in Serie A for the past three seasons and already boasts 73 appearances in the Italian top flight.

GENOA, ITALY - OCTOBER 10:  Nicolo Barella of Italy competes for the ball with Marlos of Ukraine during the International Friendly match between Italy and Ukraine on October 10, 2018 in Genoa, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

He most frequently operates as a box-to-box central midfielder, but he can also play in a more advanced or defensive role.  

A Cagliari native, Barella came through the Rossoblu's youth ranks and, aside from half a season on loan in Serie B with Como in 2016, he has always played for the club.

Barella has turned out for Italy at every youth level since under-15s. He impressed in his senior debut on Monday in a 1-1 draw with Ukraine, starting alongside Jorginho and Marco Verratti on the left side of a central three. 

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are not necessarily short on central midfielders after a summer transfer window in which they signed Fabinho and Naby Keita.

But they still do not boast the required depth to compete consistently for trophies on multiple fronts, and Barella would be an exciting young signing who could thrive under the German manager. 

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