Cagliari midfielder and reported Liverpool transfer target Nicolo Barella has opened up about the ongoing speculation about his future, telling reporters he's flattered but focused on his current club.
The Italy international spoke to Sky Italia (h/t Liverpool Echo's Connor Dunn):
"I'm not the one who sorts out the transfers.
"It's the agents, presidents and clubs who do that. I only think about Cagliari and to stay up in the league. We'll see about the rest.
"The interest from big clubs is pleasing and makes me proud. It means I'm doing the right things."
The 21-year-old is a hot commodity after a great 2017-18 campaign and an even better start to the current season. He's been strongly linked with Liverpool and Juventus, although Calciomercato's Fabrizio Romano reported in September the Bianconeri have "gone cold" on him.
Barella in an excellent all-action midfielder who is regarded as one of the top young talents in Serie A.
TALENT OF THE DAY Nicolò Barella Age: 21 Country: 🇮🇹 Club: Cagliari Position: DM/CM Player role: box-to-box midfielder Strengths: pace, passing, tackling, vision, versatility, technique, work rate Market value: 30M€ Similar type of player: Radja Nainggolan Potential: 9/10 https://t.co/tTWlSeM3gA
His all-round skill set has quickly made him a favourite of Italy national team manager Roberto Mancini, who has installed him into his midfield alongside Marco Verratti and Jorginho. The fact he can hold his own playing with the Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea stars shows just how talented he is.
His defensive work rate and output are matched by his passing range and dribbling ability, and while he's not a great scorer, Barella can lean on defences with his movement.
Here are some of his highlights:
Per Dunn, central midfield is the one position where Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could look to strengthen, so the links make sense. Summer signing Fabinho has been given few opportunities so far, and the Reds would surely love to add more depth in case of injury.
Cagliari are not among Serie A's biggest or wealthiest clubs, so one has to assume the youngster would be available for the right fee.
The rising talent will be one to watch in the coming months, and if he continues to develop at this impressive rate, a January move may well be on the cards.