clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Conflicting reports on Nicolo Barella’s transfer to Newcastle

The Italian International has been linked to the Magpies in the past few days. What’s true about the rumors?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Manchester City FC v FC Internazionale - UEFA Champions League: Final Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While the UEFA Nations League semi-final matchup between Spain and Italy may not have been at the top of everyone’s watchlist, no doubt thousands of Geordies were paying close attention to Italy’s Nicolo Barella.

Barella, playing as one of three central midfielders in Italy’s 3-5-2, played the full 90 minutes as Italy was defeated by former Magpie Joselu’s 88th-minute goal.

The Italy international, of course, also set the rumor mill on fire mere hours ago when he was suddenly linked to Newcastle in a potential €50m transfer from Inter Milan. While Serie A’s transfer window doesn’t open until July 1, the Premier League window opened earlier this week.

Not only was the news met with rejoicing among the local Newcastle media, but the relatively low price tag was met with disbelief among the Liverpool, Manchester United, and Italian media as a whole.

The midfielder has been a regular starter for the Azzurri since 2018 and was a pivotal member of the Inter Milan squad who took Man City to the brink in the Champions League Final. This season marked Barella’s fifth consecutive inclusion in the Serie A Team of the Year, and he was crowned Best Midfielder in Serie A for the second time in his still-young career.

Unfortunately for Newcastle fans, this may prove the first of many sensational headlines that will arise over the summer.

In most of these headlines, the goal is to either inflate/propagate salaries or potential club moves or to simply report basic communications between clubs and players as if a deal will be confirmed within hours. It’s a reminder of the stark contrast between the football transfer window across the European soccer landscape and the free agency period in American Sports, which usually opens with several free-agent signings within minutes.

Media outlets covering Serie A to the tiniest of developments have already countered the links between Barella and Newcastle, and referenced prior links between the player and EPL clubs over transfer windows of the past.

Based on what’s being reported, it’s likely that Newcastle may have shown some interest in Barella recently or even in prior, post-takeover windows. What’s interesting in looking at Barella’s history, is that he signed his first contract with Inter (following a loan spell at Cagliari) for five years in 2018. In November of 2021, he renegotiated that £3.9m annual deal to a £7.7m per-year contract in an extension that runs through 2025-26 and which earned him Inter’s captaincy.

Behind three of his Inter teammates, and tied with teammate Federico Chiesa at 14th in the overall Serie A salary ranks, could this be a case of his agent again trying to renegotiate for a higher annual salary? That could be the case, but looking at it from a different perspective, it is widely known that Inter Milan face an uphill battle financially. They withdrew a €275 loan in 2021 and reportedly failed to make payments just over a week ago on their new joint stadium project with AC Milan.

Maybe Inter put feelers out to the EPL to see how much they could realistically get for a player of his caliber, especially if they got reports of an initial valuation of a very affordable €50m. That being said, it’s difficult to gauge who really wins when these rumors circulate—it’s certainly a lot of information to review and confirm.

Elsewhere on the midfield front, Newcastle are still active in the media channels with strong links to both Leicester’s James Maddison and Fenerbahce’s Arda Guler.

Maddison will be part of the England gameday squad to face Malta on Friday while Turkey’s Guler has been in meetings with the club president all week alongside his agent and father trying to come up with a solution for his future whether that’s staying in his native country or moving away from it.

Meanwhile, like Serie A, the Bundesliga transfer window opens on July 1. At that time, there should be more concrete news regarding the future of RB Leipzig’s Dominik Szoboszlai and winger Marcus Thuram among others. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you updated.