Nicolo Barella has admitted he’s proud to have drawn interest from the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Juventus, amid reports that the Gunners sent a scout to watch him.
The 21-year-old currently plays for Cagliari in Serie A, but he’s been making headlines after his recent debut for the Italian national team. The midfielder started against Ukraine and Poland over the international break, his first two appearances for the side.
The young star’s value just keeps going up as a result of all the hype around him, with reports that he’s now worth around £44m, and that plenty of big clubs are interested in him. However, he says he’s just trying to focus on his game.
“I’m not the one who sorts out the transfers,” Barella insisted.
“It’s the agents, presidents and clubs who do that. I only think about Cagliari and to stay up in the league. We’ll see about the rest. The interest from big clubs is pleasing and makes me proud. It means I’m doing the right things.”
Arsenal are one of the club heavily linked to a move for Barella, according to reports in Italy. Gazzetta dello Sport recently reported that the Gunners sent a scout to watch the player’s progress. Now, with Aaron Ramsey seemingly edging closer to an exit, Arsenal’s need to bring in a midfielder is growing.
Barella isn’t exactly a like-for-like Ramsey replacement though. He’s a good tackler and has a good long-shot and free-kick, but he doesn’t create as many chances or make as many short passes as the Welshman.
Perhaps that would suit Arsenal better, especially if they end up permanently adopting the 4-2-2-2 seen against Fulham. In that formation, Barella would probably fit best in the sitting midfield two, where he could get the best out of his defensive strengths and utilise his ability to play long passes forward. We’ll see if Unai Emery is interested.