According to a report by Italian outlet Calciomercatoweb, Nicolo Barella seems to be a popular figure in the market. The 25-year-old Italian international is the subject of interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid over a possible transfer in 2023.
Nicolo Barella was already one of the most highly-rated midfielders in Italy during his time at Cagliari. And he has gone from strength to strength since joining Inter Milan. The player had initially moved to San Siro on a season-long loan deal before completing a permanent switch two years ago.
Barella has been a mainstay in the middle of the park for Inter in the last three seasons, amassing nearly 150 appearances thus far. The 25-year-old also has a decent tally of 14 goals and 38 assists. At the same time, he is a regular for the Italian national side. And his performances have attracted Barcelona and Real Madrid.
The interest from Barcelona is intriguing, considering midfield is the strongest department at Camp Nou. With teenage prodigies Pedri and Gavi going strong, Xavi Hernandez does not need another playmaker at his disposal. But recent reports have claimed that Frenkie de Jong is considering his Barcelona future after becoming a rotation option this season.
Barella is thus a viable target for Barcelona, especially if de Jong chooses to call it quits at Camp Nou. But the Blaugrana will have to fend off stiff competition from arch-rival Real Madrid in the race to sign the 25-year-old Italian international.
The reigning La Liga champions hold a long-standing interest in Barella, even attempting to sign him in the summer. The continued interest from Real Madrid comes in the wake of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos’s advancing years. Signing the Inter Milan midfielder might thus be a necessity for Real Madrid.
The report suggests a bizarre proposal being on the cards from Barcelona, with the Blaugrana considering offering Franck Kessie in a swap deal. Such a deal seems absurd, and only a straight cash move might appeal to Inter. Real Madrid might thus have an advantage in pursuit of the 25-year-old Italian international.