Tottenham Hotspur are among the leading contenders to sign Nicolo Barella this summer, according to reports…
Spanish outlet Marca claimed that the Inter Milan midfielder is attracting interest from across Europe, notably from Premier League duo Spurs and Liverpool.
They go as far as suggesting that the English pair are the front-runners in the pursuit of the 24-year-old sensation.
It’s thought that there has been talk of possible bids in the region of €60m (£52m) to €70m (£60.5m), which could well eclipse the Lilywhites’ club-record fee of £55m for Tanguy Ndombele.
This is backed up by Italian newspaper La Repubblica, who claimed that the Serie A champions would only sell for the latter amount.
It remains to be seen whether Spurs have the finances to make such a splash, but Barella would be quite the addition for Nuno Espirito Santo heading into next season.
If there is any Spurs player who has underperformed since arriving in N17, you could argue that Giovani Lo Celso sits atop that list, especially if he is to breakthrough as a true box-to-box option in the midgield engine room.
The Inter beast would be a considerable upgrade in the role, that’s for sure.
On the way to sealing the club’s first Serie A title in 11 years, Barella provided three goals and nine assists from midfield and ranked amongst the most consistent performers at either end of the pitch, having averaged 1.6 tackles and 1.3 key passes per game, via WhoScored.
By comparison, in the 74 appearances that Lo Celso has made since his arrival in London from Real Betis, he has only provided seven goals and four assists. Barella has arguably done better in just one season than the Argentine has across two.
Lo Celso struggled for creativity throughout 2020/21 as well, managing only 0.8 key passes per game in the Premier League.
The 29-cap Euro 2020 champion has received some glowing endorsements in the past and perhaps the biggest of them all comes from former Spurs striker Jurgen Klinsmann, who compared Barella to Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante.
In quotes sourced by football.london, the German said: “He has the same function as Kante – but the Inter player is in the development phase.”
Valued at £58.5m by Transfermarkt, Barella’s worth is only going to increase tenfold after a season in which he clinched two major trophies across the domestic and international stage.
On the above evidence, Paratici could well land a major upgrade to Lo Celso by breaking Spurs’ club transfer record.