Earlier this week, a story emerged from the depths of Sardinia when Unione Sarda, a local newspaper, claimed Chelsea were ready to bid €45m for Nicolo Barella.

The Cagliari midfielder has quickly become one of Europe’s hottest prospects, recently receiving his first cap for Italy, and despite his early season comments on wanting to stay at his current side this season, the Blues would still try and convince him to move in January.

The outlet explained Maurizio Sarri and Gianfranco Zola both agreed on his talents, and wanted to try and get a deal done with the Serie A side before Christmas.

However, this all appeared to stem from England, as neither the midfielder’s entourage nor Cagliari were willing to comment on the matter, until now.

Embed from Getty Images

Responding to the numerous rumours surrounding his starlet, the Serie A side’s president, Tommaso Giulini, said, relayed by Corriere dello Sport: “It’s a certainty he won’t leave in January, and I think it’s fair to make the most of him as long as he is with us.”

The price tag had always been touted as at least €50m, either way, so Chelsea’s opening offer would have been rejected had it landed on Giulini’s desk.

His stance is admirable, but it remains to be seen how strong it is, and how long he’ll be able to resist the Premier League’s money should someone, perhaps Sarri and Abramovich, prove insistent.

Our guess is Barella will move next summer, but never say never in football.