Inter are close to securing Nicolò Barella by helping Cagliari to sign Nahitan Nandez from Boca Juniors, claim Sportmediaset.
Last week, Barella had seemed to be in the middle of a bidding war between Chelsea and Napoli.
However, the situation has changed and Inter now appear to be the favourites for the 21-year-old Italy international.
The key to Barella is helping Cagliari to bring in his replacement, specifically Uruguayan Nandez from Boca Juniors.
Boca President Daniel Angelici confirmed Cagliari were prepared to activate his €21m release clause, but could not agree on how to spread out the payment.
A meeting with Nandez’s agent Pablo Bentancur on Wednesday did not go well and it looked as if the move would crumble.
In stepped Inter, who can work with Cagliari to sign Nandez for €18m upfront and retain an option to buy him back from the Sardinians in future.
In exchange, Cagliari will give Inter first refusal on Barella in a deal worth €40m plus €10m in various performance-related bonuses.
Barella will be allowed to remain at the Sardegna Arena for the rest of the season, moving to San Siro in the summer.
The player would be ready to sign a five-year contract worth €2.5m per annum.
It means Chelsea risk missing out on both their midfield targets in January, as it’s reported today that Paris Saint-Germain have leapfrogged them in the race for Zenit St Petersburg talent Leandro Paredes.