Arsenal are now showing an interest in a transfer with Inter Milan for Liverpool target Nicolo Barella, despite boss Mikel Arteta just losing defender Jurrien Timber to injury.
That is according to Paul Brown, who reports that Barella is a player whom Arsenal like. The Emirates Stadium outfit have also considered making a move to sign the 26-year-old during the summer. But Arteta is not currently pushing sporting director Edu to secure his services.
Arsenal remain open to further improving Arteta’s engine room before the transfer window closes. The Gunners have already bolstered the Spaniard’s team with the signings of Declan Rice and Kai Havertz. Although the club signed the latter as a replacement for Granit Xhaka.
Arsenal maintain an interest in Barella despite Timber’s injury
Barella also featured prominently among discussions at Emirates Stadium over who Arsenal should pursue transfers for this summer. But any deal for the 45-cap Italy international now hinges on Edu clearing out their deadwood. Any further incomings hinge on players leaving.
Thus Arsenal are not currently close to agreeing on a deal with Inter Milan for Barella. They may revisit his situation at San Siro toward the end of the sales, however, should Arteta give the green light to another midfielder going. Despite him now being lighter in defence again.
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Arteta had welcomed the signing of Timber from Ajax to improve Arsenal’s defence only to now suffer a serious injury. The Gunners have confirmed that their £34m, rising to £38.5m, arrival requires further tests to determine the severity of the issue he suffered on Saturday.
Likely losing Timber for much of his debut season in north London could tempt Arteta into pursuing further defensive reinforcements. But Brown believes Barella remains a potential late-window target as Arsenal maintain an interest in pursuing his transfer from Inter Milan.
Edu must rival Liverpool and Manchester City for a transfer with Inter Milan
Arsenal chief Edu will have to rival his counterparts from Liverpool to seal Barella’s transfer from Inter Milan, though. Il Tempo reported on June 25 that the Anfield outfit are happy to spend €80m (£69m) for the Italian. He is under contract at San Siro through until June 2026.
Manchester City also appreciate what Barella would offer in the Premier League, according to reports by TuttoMercatoWEB on July 20. It adds that Inter Milan would struggle to reject a large offer but would want around the £105m Arsenal paid West Ham United to sign Rice.
Inter Milan will find it impossible to reject bids in the region of Rice’s fee. While Manchester City are in love with Barella as the midfielder’s quality and temperament impress coach Pep Guardiola. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is also a declared admirer of the Cagliari native.
“He’s a really good player, a really good player and I like him a lot,” Klopp said during a press conference last July. “He has all the things you want from a midfield player. He is aggressive, he is technical, he can run for ages and all these kinds of things. That’s a top-class player.”