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Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella has revealed Chelsea were interested in signing him in January, before he ended up moving to the San Siro.
Barella was at Cagliari last season when Chelsea were interested in him as he continued to impress. Inter eventually secured his signature ahead of the 2019 campaign, as the Italy international signed an initial loan deal that included an option to buy.
Before his move to Inter, Barella was linked with a number of high-profile clubs.
Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Stephen Darwin of Goal), Barella has now confirmed Chelsea were keen to sign him in January.
“Chelsea had been looking to sign me in January; the negotiations were concrete,” the 22-year-old said.
“At Cagliari, I said: ‘It is not an easy time for the team. I will stay until the end of the season. Then I will make a decision.'”
Barella was supposed to be the replacement for Cesc Fabregas who left Chelsea for Monaco in January, but his deal didn’t work out.
However, the Blues are well stocked central midfield with the likes of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic all fighting for the same spot. There is abundance in talent as upcoming star Billy Gilmour can also play the role, and the likes of Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and even Mason Mount can drop deep a little.