Chelsea’s £45m move for coveted Serie A star hijacked by Inter

Inter are trying to sign Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella ahead of Chelsea, according to reports in Italy. Maurizio Sarri wants extra firepower this month and has asked Chelsea to complete the transfer of Barella and Edinson Cavani.

Chelsea are preparing a bid for Barella and are willing to pay upwards of £40million for the youngster, who turns 22 next month.

Barella could stay with Cagliari until the end of the season on loan, but Corriere dello Sport claim Inter have now been in touch Cagliari about striking a deal.

Inter are reluctant to meet Cagliari’s £45m asking price, and have enquired about ways to bring down the fee. The addition of two Inter players in the Barella deal may be enough for Cagliari to snub Chelsea’s impending offer.

Cagliari’s and Inter’s chiefs spoke on the phone about the possibility of defender Alessandro Bastoni being included in the deal for Barella. The 19-year-old is a target of Cagliari’s, while striker Gabigol could also be offered.

Cagliari are hopeful a bidding war may erupt for Barella, as Napoli too want to sign the exciting midfielder.

The Italian side are under no pressure to offload Barella this month. The Italy international is an integral part of Cagliari’s side and has even captained the team at times this season.

Barella is under contract at Cagliari until 2022, and has missed just one game this season due to suspension.

Sarri is well informed about Serie A’s brightest prospects and is targeting several Italy-based players including Gonzalo Higuain.

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