Cagliari President Tommaso Giulini confirms Napoli and Chelsea came closer than Inter to Nicolò Barella, but “it’ll take more than €50m.”
The Italy international midfielder is set to start in tonight’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Finland, having become an Azzurri regular under Coach Roberto Mancini.
This also helped boost his profile abroad and a move to a bigger club is expected over the summer.
“Barella was never close to a January exit,” Giulini told the Corriere dello Sport newspaper.
“I cannot deny that there was concrete interest from Napoli in January. Maurizio Sarri also wanted him at Chelsea. As for Inter, that was just a chat, nothing more.”
The Cagliari President was asked about Barella’s price-tag, which has been reported in the €45-50m bracket.
“Maybe it’ll take more, seeing as next year it is his beloved Cagliari’s Centenary,” he smiled.
“I don’t know what his future holds, but he is a player who can grow a great deal more. We hope he can continue to do that while wearing our jersey.
“It’s banal to make the comparison, but he does remind me of Radja Nainggolan, even if Nicolò is more technically-gifted than Radja.”