Liverpool are reportedly frontrunners in the race to sign Italian star Nicolo Barella.
The Cagliari midfielder emerged as a potential target early in the summer transfer window, with the Reds believed to have been scouting him for a number of months.
Barella boasts a reputation as one of Italy’s most exciting prospects having asserted himself as a prominent figure in Cagiliari’s starting lineup at the age of just 21.
He already has an impressive 73 Serie A appearances to his name and made his senior debut for Italy in a 1-1 draw with Ukraine earlier this month.
Liverpool are now ‘hot favourites’ to sign the £44million-rated youngster, according to Football Italia.
Barella has often been likened to Inter Milan star Radja Nainggolan for his industry and aggression across the pitch, as well as his ability to drive the transition from defence to attack.
Discussing the comparison, he told Sky Italy: “We’re alike because we always give 100% on the pitch. I hope to have a career like his, but I still have a lot to learn to reach those levels.”
At first glance, Barella is a neat operator with both feet in compact areas, with a blend of defensive grit and an expansive passing range.
The more he continues to develop, the more he continues to emerge as a box-to-box asset rather than the conventional deep-lying midfielder he first appeared to be.
It is an added attacking spark that promises to attract Klopp as he seeks to add some much-needed creativity to his midfield.