Reportedly once close to signing for Chelsea, Nicolo Barella did what he always said he would be doing and stayed at Cagliari in January.

Wanting to finish the season with the Serie A side and help them avoid the drop, the young midfielder ignored advances from many clubs both last summer and this winter, knowing full well he’ll have plenty of opportunities in June/July to decide where to go next.

Among the interested clubs are likely to be Arsenal, who have now sent scouts on at least two different occasions to watch the 21-year-old, previously noting down his ‘qualities’ back in October.

According to TuttoMercatoWeb on Monday evening, the Gunners sent scouts to Milan vs Cagliari on Sunday to specifically watch both Suso and Barella ahead of the summer transfer window.

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With Aaron Ramsey heading to Juventus, a gap in Arsenal’s midfield will need filling, and while the two players aren’t exactly like for like, Unai Emery’s inability to find a regular spot for the Welshman in his sides suggested the two weren’t meant to work together long term.

Perhaps Barella fits into the Spaniard’s plans more, and that’s why they’re so focused on him.

As always, the price to get the young midfielder will be at least €50m, as it’s always been, and that could be a problem for the Gunners.

Their lack of funds is well known and there’s no indication Emery, or whoever replaces him should his Emirates adventure end prematurely, will be given a large cheque to oversee big changes next summer.

What’s the saying? Look but don’t touch?