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Rumour Mongering: Newcastle in Talks for Barella in £50m deal

The player has been linked to Liverpool in previous years, with Klopp said to be a keen admirer.

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Italy Training Session And Press Conference - UEFA Nations League 2022/23 Semi-final Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Luke Edwards of the Telegraph reports that Newcastle United is nearing a £50m for Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella.

Of course, Nicolo Barella is a favourite of the Liverpool FC rumour mill, mainly after we played them last year during our push for the quadruple.

Here’s what Jürgen Klopp had to say about him when he couldn’t play against the Reds:

“[The news] That Barella is not able to play is not bad for us.”

“He’s a really good player. He’s a really good player and I like him a lot.”

Klopp added: “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. A top-class player.”

However, a few things about this report immediately appear rather fishy. The fee seems relatively low at first glance, even with the rumours out there that Inter need to offload players to raise funds again.

The article also mentions Newcastle’s thinking behind the move:

“Newcastle have been desperate to sign a No.6 this summer to allow Brazil international Bruno Guimaraes to play further up the pitch and Barella would be a stunning upgrade on Jonjo Shelvey, who was allowed to leave for Nottingham Forest back in January.”

While he can play attacking midfield and defensive midfield if needed, Barella usually plays as an offensive-minded box-to-box midfielder in the right-centre midfielder position. A mezalla as the football hipsters or regular Italians say. Asking him to play as a defensive midfielder, even though Bruno Guimaraes will probably still do a better job in that role, seems... like a very amateur-hour FIFA career mode move to make.

A report from Calcio Mercato has also claimed that the player has not spoken to Newcastle United, and that a transfer isn’t imminent. Instead, the midfielder will be talking to Inter about his future. This is also being reported by everyone’s favourite transfer tap-in man, Fabrizio Romano.

We’ll see what happens. In my opinion, physicality and winning duels in midfield are far greater needs than creativity and ball progression... and we already have a diminutive attacking midfielder of our own in Harvey Elliott, who Klopp will probably not want to take minutes away from. I’m probably okay if Liverpool sit this one out and focus on other targets on Thuram and Koné.

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