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MUNICH, GERMANY - JULY 02: Nicolo Barella of Italy celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Quarter-final match between Belgium and Italy at Football Arena Munich on July 02, 2021 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann - UEFA)

Liverpool still interested in Nicolo Barella – but high price tag set

Liverpool remain interested in Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella amid links with a host of others, though his price tag may prove too high.

Barella has emerged as a coveted player in this summer’s transfer window, with Newcastle among those credited with an interest in the 26-year-old.

Following Inter’s defeat to Man City in the Champions League final, the Italy international has been tipped to leave the San Siro, and the Premier League seems his most likely destination.

According to the Independent‘s Miguel Delaney, “negotiations are ongoing” between Newcastle and Inter regarding a possible deal.

However, Liverpool are described as “similarly interested” as they “feel his energy fits with exactly what they want from a second midfielder to complement Alexis Mac Allister.”

Mac Allister, a £35 million signing from Brighton, is expected to take up the advanced, left-sided role in Jurgen Klopp‘s midfield.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JUNE 10: Erling Haaland of Manchester City and Nicolo Barella of FC Internazionale battle for possession during the UEFA Champions League 2022/23 final match between FC Internazionale and Manchester City FC at Atatuerk Olympic Stadium on June 10, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by UEFA)

The next priority will be to fill the right-sided role, and Barella fits the bill, though Delaney stresses that, like Newcastle, Liverpool “believe the price is currently far too high.”

Inter, who paid around £40 million to sign their No. 23 from Cagliari in 2020, are looking for £80 million, with Newcastle only willing to pay £50 million.

It will be a similar situation at Anfield, with alternative targets, namely OGC Nice’s Khephren Thuram, viewed as “more affordable.”

Nevertheless, ongoing interest in Barella suggests Liverpool will continue to monitor the situation like their counterparts at St James’ Park.

Newcastle themselves could opt to pursue other midfielders, with Thuram having been linked in the past, though Delaney touts AC Milan’s Sandro Tonali and Chelsea‘s Conor Gallagher as the possibilities.

It is, of course, no surprise that Liverpool are interested in Barella, particularly given his profile – and this is not the first time they have been linked.

MUNICH, GERMANY - JULY 02: Nicolo Barella of Italy celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Quarter-final match between Belgium and Italy at Football Arena Munich on July 02, 2021 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann - UEFA)

Claims go back as far as 2018 in his native Italy, while as recently as this summer Liverpool journalist Neil Jones reaffirmed interest.

In his book Intensity, assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders name-checked the midfielder on a number of occasions, while in a column for The Athletic in 2021 he praised his “big heart and calmness.”

Prior to Liverpool’s clash with Inter in the Champions League last year, Klopp even admitted he was “really happy” Barella could not be involved.

“When we saw the [previous] game [when Inter beat Salernitana 5-0], we were really happy Barella is not playing,” he told reporters, “because he set up I think three or four!”

But the difference between Liverpool holding an interest and pushing for a transfer appears to be at least £30 million at this stage.