Should Chelsea return for Inter’s Barella in the summer?

Rumours suggest that Inter rejected a last-minute approach from Chelsea for Nicolo Barella, but the Blues would do well to return in the summer, Apollo Heyes suggests.

The Premier League side have spent heavily in the January transfer window, paying over €200m for the likes of Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoît Badiashile and João Félix. Their interest in World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez is also no secret but even €120m may not be enough to convince Benfica to give up on the player.

TMW reported today that Chelsea made an approach to Inter and explored a possible deal for Barella, which was instantly rebuffed. The Nerazzurri have no interest in losing the 25-year-old Italian midfielder, who plays a key role in Simone Inzaghi’s squad, but things could change in the summer.

Should the Blues fail to sign Enzo Fernandez or a midfielder of similar quality, a return for Barella at the end of the season could make sense. The Milanese club already expect to sell one or two first team players in the summer and current frontrunners for this are Denzel Dumfries and Marcelo Brozovic.

Considering the economic might of a Todd Boehly-backed Chelsea, the English club could easily match any request for the Italian midfielder, and a hefty sum may help Inter to avoid losing any other players.

Barella would also be a good fit for Graham Potter’s Chelsea. A tactically flexible midfielder, the Euro 2020 winner shines in the box-to-box or mezzala role, quickly progressing the ball up the pitch and being a key creative outlet for his teammates. He is also a confident leader on the pitch and consummate professional off it.

This season, the 25-year-old has averaged 3.85 shot-creating actions per 90 minutes, 4.73 progressive passes per 90 and 4.56 progressive dribbles per 90, showing his importance to the Nerazzurri’s build-up play. He has also scored five goals and provided six assists across 19 Serie A appearances.

With Chelsea still waiting for Potter to produce magic in West London, Barella could be the final piece of the puzzle in a new era for the Blues.  

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