Cagliari Rule Out Nicolo Barella January Sale Amid Arsenal and Liverpool Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2018

FROSINONE, ITALY - DECEMBER 02:  Nicolo' Barella of Cagliari in action during the Serie A match between Frosinone Calcio and Cagliari at Stadio Benito Stirpe on December 2, 2018 in Frosinone, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini has said the club's star midfielder Nicolo Barella will not be moving anywhere in January despite links to a number of European football's biggest clubs.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Tom Coast of Sport Witness), Arsenal are said to have scouted the Italy international, while the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, AC Milan and Inter Milan have also been credited with an interest.

However, Giulini has said Barella is happy with life at the Serie A club and ruled out the prospect of a midseason sale, per Radiolina (h/t Football Italia).

"It's been like this for months. I believe it's only right that we enjoy him for as long as he's here with us. If things change then we'll announce it, but he's very happy here and the club no intention of selling him.

"Reading that there are many offers for him isn't right. I hope he stays with us for a long time and certainly, like I've already said before, he won't leave in January."

CAGLIARI, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 16: the president of Cagliari Tommaso Gliulini  during the serie A match between Cagliari and AC Milan at Sardegna Arena on September 16, 2018 in Cagliari, Italy.  (Photo by Enrico Locci/Getty Images)
Enrico Locci/Getty Images

Barella broke into the Cagliari starting XI in 2017-18, making 34 appearances for the side. He's continued his impressive development this term and has been the creative force in the Serie A side's midfield.

Giulini appears resigned to the fact the Azzurri star will be on the move eventually, although it's understandable he's determined to keep him around until the end of the season at least. Cagliari's campaign still hangs in the balance, with a relegation battle or a challenge for a UEFA Europa League spot still possible.

Much will depend on the form of their star midfielder, who is steadily building a reputation as one of Italian football's rising stars. 

Broadcaster Alex Goldberg noted reports linking Barella with a switch to Chelsea and said he likes the idea of the Italian heading to Stamford Bridge:

Alex Goldberg @AlexGoldberg_

Denis Suarez to Chelsea? Ehh. Nicolò Barella to Chelsea? Sure! Barella (21) is a really nice player. Can play all across the midfield, has great tenacity & judging by his quotes, seems unafraid of playing in the PL. Could make signing Kovačić a little less of a priority.

The intelligence and tactical versatility of the midfielder stands out for someone who is still in the early stages of his playing days.

Not only is Barella calm on the ball, there's a physicality to his game that makes him even tougher to contain. The 21-year-old uses his frame in defence to win the ball back, and it's also useful when he ventures forward to hold off challenges before threading passes or taking shots at goal.

Italian football journalist David Amoyal noted earlier in the campaign that Barella is benefitting from getting regular games:

David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal

Great development for Italian national team that Barella stayed at Cagliari this season so he can play regularly in a place where he’s comfortable. Let’s add him to list of players Mancini needs to focus on

If he does consider a transfer in the summer, then that is something the youngster will be conscious of. He's been a regular presence since breaking into the Cagliari senior side, and being pushed to the fringes at another club may slow any further progression.

He doesn't appear to be going anywhere for the time being, and you suspect many interested glances will be cast the way of Cagliari between now and the end of the campaign. 


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