Speaking recently on the Here We Go podcast, Fabrizio Romano discussed Tottenham Hotspur’s reported interest in Inter central midfielder Nicolo Barella.
Since moving to Inter from Cagliari back in 2019, in what was originally a season-long loan deal that Inter turned into a £25.2 million permanent move last summer, Barella has so far gone on to feature 66 times for the club, chipping in with six goals and providing 16 assists along the way.
So far this season, the £49.5 million-rated 23-year-old has highly impressed over his 18 Serie A appearances for Antonio Conte’s side, scoring two goals and providing five assists, as well as averaging a WhoScored match rating of 7.02 – ranking him as the seventh-best player in a side who currently sit just three points off the summit of the Italian top flight.
And, according to recent reports, the performances of Barella appear to have piqued the interest of Spurs, with TEAMtalk relaying reports from Calcio Mercato of links between the Italy international and a potential switch to the Premier League.
However, speaking on a recent episode of the Here We Go podcast, Romano appeared to pour cold water on the club’s link with the midfielder, claiming that it would take a substantial amount of money for Inter to part with Barella.
He said: “[He is] an amazing player and I see a lot of rumours around Bayern Munich and Tottenham, just because obviously these kinds of clubs are interested. We’re talking about a top midfielder, so it’s normal. But, at the moment, there is nothing, absolutely nothing.
“Also, I think the value of Barella right now – Inter paid for him, two years ago, around €35-40 million on loan with an obligation to buy – I think if today you want to sign Barella, [it would be] more than double. I think you’d have to pay around €80 million. I am not the Inter director, so it’s just my opinion, it’s not the news. But, at the moment, he is not on the market.
“To tell you behind the scenes – last summer Inter were in a difficult situation on the economical side, as they are also right now, and what they said is, ‘We have just three players we can’t sell: [Romelu] Lukaku, [Stefan] de Vrij and Barella’. So, Barella, at the moment, is untouchable for Inter and the feeling around the club is that he can be also a potential captain in the future.
“So, it’s really difficult today to negotiate. For January it’s 100% impossible, but also for next summer, [it] would be really difficult to see Inter selling Barella.”
Would Barella be a good signing for Spurs?
TIF Thoughts on Fabrizio Romano’s comments regarding Nicolo Barella…
From Romano’s comments, it would certainly appear as if the journalist does not feel as if Tottenham, or indeed any club, have a very good chance of signing Barella in January, or even this summer.
As such, should Mourinho wish to strengthen his options in the middle of the park this month, he may have to look elsewhere, such as RB Leipzig midfielder Marcel Sabitzer, or perhaps even Barella’s teammate at Inter, Christian Eriksen, both of whom have been linked with the club.