Tottenham Hotspur are interested in a deal to bring Nicolo Barella to the Premier League in the summer transfer window.
What’s the talk?
That’s according to a report by Italian publication Il Messaggero (via Sport Witness), who claim that, alongside Inter Milan centre-back Milan Skriniar, Antonio Conte is also keen on the idea of Fabio Paratici making a move for Nerazzurri’s central midfielder this summer.
Previous reports have claimed that Liverpool are also considering a move for the Italy international ahead of the upcoming 2022/23 campaign, while Simone Inzaghi’s side are not believed to be willing to part with the 25-year-old for anything less than a figure of €90m (£76.5m).
Imagine him & Zaniolo
Considering Barella’s status as one of the best forward-thinking midfielders currently playing the game, it is not difficult to understand why Conte is reportedly keen to bring the 39-cap international to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this summer.
Indeed, according to FBref, the £102m-rated talent ranks in the top 2% of midfielders in Europe’s big five leagues and European competitions for shot-creating actions per 90, as well as the top 2% for xA, the top 3% for assists, the top 3% for non-penalty xG+xA, the top 4% for shots and the top 9% for non-penalty xG over the last 365 days.
Furthermore, the £153k-per-week Italian also ranks in the top 4% for touches in the opposition penalty area per 90, in addition to the top 5% for progressive passes received, the top 9% for progressive carries, the top 12% for progressive passes, the top 21% for dribbles completed and the top 31% for passes attempted over the past 12 months.
These metrics are personified by the 25-year-old’s returns over his 36 Serie A appearances last season, over which Barella scored three goals, registered 12 assists and created 15 big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.9 shots, making 1.8 key passes and completing one dribble per game.
As such, it is clear to see exactly why Conte is believed to be interested in the player who Adam Digby dubbed “unbelievable” this summer, while the prospect of Barella lining up alongside another of Paratici’s reported summer targets – AS Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo – in the Spurs midfield next season is sure to be an incredibly tantalising one for all involved with the north London side, not least the 52-year-old manager himself.
AND in other news: Paratici plotting bid for “unreal” £55m Spurs target, he’d be a “beast” under Conte