Both Arsenal and Manchester United are being linked with Inter midfielder Nicolò Barella, over a possible January transfer to the Premier League.
Now aged 23 and playing his seventh successive season as a professional footballer, Barella is already looking to take the next step in his footballing career.
Starting out at Cagliari, Barella has quickly risen the ranks of Italian football. Joining Antonio Conte’s inter ahead of the 2019/20 season saw Barella stand out from the barrage of Premier League and overseas players who joined the club, as a young, Italian footballer looking to make his way in his home nation.
Now though it seems like the Premier League will come calling for Barella – 27 Serie A appearances last season and 7 this time around is enough for both Arsenal and Manchester United to deem him worthy of a rumor. But with neither side having as much of a “pull” in European transfers as they once did, do Inter actually have a good chance of keeping hold of Barella?
More and more young footballers – especially those trained in the English leagues – are flocking to Europe to better their footballing career. Teams in Germany, France, Portugal and Italy are receiving all these young talents because there seems to be more opportunity for them to progress with non-Premier League clubs, more first-team potential and subsequently, more chance of reaching the top.
With Inter playing in the Champions League this season as well, what more do Arsenal or United have to offer that Inter don’t? Money perhaps, but will it be all that much more than what Inter could pay him? For Barella to likely go and play a season-and-a-half coming off the Arsenal or United bench, it might take a significant pay rise to see him leave his starting spot at Inter.
Needless to say, Barella is becoming a fine player under Conte. Last week he played on the global stage, right in the heart of Inter’s midfield as they fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat at Real Madrid’s Valdebedas, giving the Spanish side a run for their money with Barella claiming a back heel assist.
He fits in alongside some hugely experienced names in Arturo Vidal and Marcelo Brozovic, looking as though he’s been playing football for as long as they have. His range of passing and dynamism sets him apart, his agile stature makes him an electric midfielder and it would be hard to argue the fact that he’d fit right into the Premier League’s style of play.
Barella still has until 2024 on his Inter contract. A renewal is deserved though and is probably required to help fend off any unwanted interest from the likes of Arsenal and United. Inter though should not disrespect themselves in the transfer market too much – they’re a Champions League club and one on the up, challenging for trophies, and Barella might be foolish to swap that for a spot on a premier League bench.