Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri wants the club to sign Cagliari’s Nicolo Barella, according to reports in Italy.
Barella is widely regarded as one of the best young prospects in Serie A with a host of European teams tracking his progress.
Reports suggests Chelsea would have to stump up a £40.5m (€45m) fee for Barella’s signature.
Nicolo Barella has made 99 appearances for the club since making his debut in 2015.
Cagliari are under little pressure to sell because Barella is under contract until the summer of 2022.
The Serie A club’s president Tommaso Giuliani has suggested he will not sanction a deal in the mid-season sales.
“We want to have a player who will help us to replace him properly, we certainly do not want to lose our best player,” he said.
Barella has admitted he could be open to leaving Cagliari for the right offer, saying back in October: “If and when I have to leave, it will never be for money, but only for ambition. I do not care about Ferrari or the super penthouse; I do not play football to buy myself a beautiful car.”
One man who has been impressed with the midfielder is former England boss Fabio Capello.
He told Radio Anch’io Sport: “Barella’s the player who can change the tempo in midfield. He gives something more in terms of quality and quantity, which we [Italy] lacked before.
“He reminds me a bit of (Marco) Tardelli on a dynamic level.”