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Arsenal are set to take on Napoli in the transfer market once again, this time for Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella, according to reports in Italy.
Sky Sports Italia (via Football Italia) report that after Chelsea have withdrawn from the race for Barella in recent days, Arsenal have become Napoli’s main challenger for the midfielder. According to Sky, Arsenal are ‘not to be underestimated in their interest’ in the 21-year-old.
The Cagliari star reportedly believes his style of play is better suited to the Premier League than Serie A, particularly as he loves to get physical and put tackles in regularly. Both Arsenal and Napoli are more likely to make a move at the end of the season, and the player would cost them around €45-50m.
This is far from the first time Arsenal and Napoli have gone toe-to-toe over a player in the last year. Both were very keen on signing Bernd Leno and Lucas Torreira over the summer, with the Gunners winning out on both occasions.
Then they faced off directly in negotiations for David Ospina, resulting in a loan deal with a €3.5m option-to-buy that was rather favourable for Napoli. We’ll see who comes out on top in the case of Barella.