Arsenal scouts have apparently been sent to watch Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella.
The 22 year old is already on the Chelsea radar and was thought of as a perfect replacement for the outgoing Cesc Fabregas but Cagliari were reluctant to part with their rising star because the offer was too low.
Arsenal sent scouts to watch Barella in action for Italy against Finland and the player gave them the bonus of his first international goal.
It wasn’t perfect and had more than a touch of good fortune about it but the potential is certainly there.
Italy’s free kick was headed out by a Finish defender with Barella prowling outside the box.
It dropped sweetly on to his right foot, which he throttled goal wards.
On the way it managed to clip a leg, foot or heel, to whistle into the net and past a confused looking keeper with his legs dangling in the air.
Yet, it was his overall quality that stood out at such a tender age and the fact that he had suddenly become a regular in the National side, having started the last 4 games under Roberto Mancini.
If he were to become available or Cagliari were agreeable to a sale, he could cost somewhere between £40 and £50million.
The attraction for Emery is Barella’s work rate. He tackles, he pushes forward, he assists and he has an array of cheeky skills at his disposal ( check out the footage)
He ticks all the boxes of a midfield power house that can clog a ball from distance and his commitment is similar to Lucas Torreira.
He appears to be your typical, heart on the sleeve, fiery, emotionally invested Italian, which I love and let’s be clear, if Arsenal don’t buy him, you’ll see him soon in the premiership playing for a rival.
It’s reported that Arsenal are about to appoint Steve Morrow as Director of football and he may have to invest on more plan tickets before sending in the deal makers to secure Barella’s services.