Cagliari star linked with Chelsea switch
Chelsea are reportedly keen on Cagliari star Nicolo Barella but they face competition for the 21-year-old midfielder.
Italy Under-21 international Barella has already managed 70 league appearances for Cagliari having made his debut in 2015 and is highly-regarded in his homeland.
Now Sardinia's La Nuova Sardegna have claimed the playmaker is attracting interest from Chelsea and the Stamford Bridge side are planning to make a move if Maurizio Sarri replaces Antonio Conte as manager.
However, the report states Liverpool are also long-term admirers of the youngster and the Anfield outfit could launch a rival offer.
Cagliari-born Barella has spent his entire career at the Sardegna Arena, aside from a loan spell with Como in 2016, having graduated from the club's academy.
Barella is under contract with Cagliari until 2022 and president and owner Tommaso Giulini stated earlier this year the club would demand a fee in excess of 50million euros for their star man, after the midfielder was linked with some of Italy's top clubs during the January transfer window.
Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.