Reports in Italy claim that Chelsea had a £44M bid accepted for Nicolo Barella in January, but the player turned down the move for personal reasons.
Barella, alongside Zenit midfielder Leandro Parades, was touted as a key target for Chelsea this January following the departure of Cesc Fabregas to AS Monaco. In the end, Chelsea opted against recruiting another midfielder, with their top targets becoming implausible.
We faced interest from PSG for Parades. We had our work cut-out convincing him to join us considering their financial power and the attraction of the club at this current time. That move looked to be a dead end from the start. Barella, though, was a different story.
New information revealed by TMW claims that we had agreed a £44M fee with Cagliari for Barella’s transfer – but the player himself snubbed the move. Not because we’re not a club he sees himself playing for, but because his wife is currently six months pregnant!
He is right to avoid the stress of a move to abroad while his wife is so heavily pregnant. This also leaves the door open for us to return for him in the summer if we wish. Perhaps it’ll be dependent on whether or not we purchase Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid.