North London giants Arsenal will reportedly have to contend with Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester United in their pursuit of highly rated Italian midfielder Nicolo Barella when the transfer window reopens in January.
According to the report from renowned English news outlet The Sun, the Gunners have identified the 21-year-old as a replacement for wantaway Welsh international midfielder Aaron Ramsey but will have to fend off strong interests from Premier League rivals Manchester United and Liverpool.
Other European heavyweights such as Italian champions Juventus, AC Milan and AS Roma are also in the running for the Italian international.
He made his debut for the Italian national team in last week’s international friendly clash with Ukraine which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Barella played in his first competitive game as Italy needed a late goal to secure a 1-0 away win over Poland in their UEFA Nations League clash on Sunday night.
The midfielder was on from start to finish as Italy boosted their hopes of qualifying for the final four with the first victory of the Roberto Mancini era.
The result ended a five-match winless run for Mancini since he was named as the replacement for the sacked Gian Pero Ventura earlier this year.
Nicolo Barella is rated at around £31m and any potential suitor will have to come up with that sum for Cagliari to sell their prized asset.