Chelsea Odds-On to Sign ‘Exceptional’ Talent Nicolo Barella
Sardinia. The second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, behind Cyprus this beautiful gem is located just underneath French-owned Corsica.
Known for its micro-climate and natural beauty, this island has been fought over throughout its history, and ownership has changed hands numerous times before settling under Italian rule.
Both Sardinian and Italian languages are equally spoken, along with a whole host of other local dialects that originate from the aforementioned changes in its rulers.
Now, another precious local treasure can be found in the capital Cagliari, one that several factions are ready to do battle over just like in centuries gone by.
The city’s football team Cagliari Calcio are the current owners of this treasure, a 21-year-old midfielder that goes by the name of Nicolò Barella.
Having been 4/1 to join Chelsea at the start of the week, he’s now odds-on (1/2) to link up with compatriot Maurizio Sarri before the January transfer window closes.
In truth, his talent is such that he could have already left the island to seek his fortune elsewhere, but the Sardinia native’s loyalty has so far kept him with the Serie A minnows.
“I feel part of a population here in Sardinia and it’s not just the support of the fans that I feel, but the passion of an entire community,” the proud youngster confessed to La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Sportweek Magazine.
“It makes me very proud, and while you celebrate victories more than anyone else, you suffer the defeats more too. If and when I was to leave Cagliari, it would never be for money, but only for ambition.”
A mature statement from a young man who could’ve easily had his head turned before he was truly ready to make a step up.
After having represented Italy at all international youth levels, current Azzurri boss Roberto Mancini gave him the nod for his senior debut in a friendly with Ukraine in October 2018.
Since then, Barella has earned four caps and was described by Mancini as “phenomenal” after he featured the youngster in the midfield at home to Portugal in November.
Nicolo Barella’s Best Attributes
But what makes this player so special?
Blessed with the flexibility to play in the centre of the park or slightly further forward, he is as firm in the tackle as he is exceptional in starting attacks by spreading the play.
His stature is relatively short at 5’9”, however the resulting low centre of gravity and his strength allow him to both win back possession and outwit opponents going forward with excellent agility.
He is accomplished at scoring from dead-ball situations, but Barella must also learn to work on his temperament, his complaining to referees and number of cards accumulated way too high for a player in his position.
Such a profile has inevitably led to fervent interest in the transfer market, and he recently admitted that offers had already been quashed by his home-town club.
“Cagliari received offers and turned them down,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport at the beginning of the current campaign.
“I am happy to have remained with the club I support. If I had to choose between Serie A and the Premier League, I’d go for England, because I like the way they approach the game. Plus everyone there is just as irritable and prone to fouls as me!”
His words evidently led English top-flight scouts to prick up their ears, as Barella would be a quality addition to even the best teams in the Premier League.
Serie A’s ‘In The Know’ Transfer Specialist
Italian transfer market expert Gianluca Di Marzio has revealed that Chelsea are the foreign side most interested in making a move for the £45 million rated player, especially considering the imminent departure of Cesc Fabregas.
His move to AS Monaco is said to be held up while the Blues source a replacement, making a transfer involving Maurizio Sarri’s personal choice Barella very likely, according to latest football betting transfer odds, with 10Bet pricing a January move as short as 1/2.
Despite Sarri’s insistence however, the Chelsea hierarchy are said to be unconvinced over making a high-value bid for Barella, with Di Marzio also listing Arsenal as an interested party.
Odds on a move to the Emirates Stadium by the end of the current transfer window are available at a much more lucrative 11/1 via SportNation.Bet, though Chelsea are in pole position.
Odds on Napoli (4/1), Inter (11/1) and AS Roma (28/1) signing the starlet are also available with the best transfer betting sites, however the player’s comments suggest that he would be looking to move to England should he decide to leave his home in Sardinia.
The island itself may now be settled under Italian rule, but Cagliari better brace themselves for a transfer window invasion as teams from both home and abroad look to pillage their treasure.
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