Over the past couple of weeks, Liverpool’s alleged interest in Nicolo Barella has become a thing in Europe, with all sorts of claims being thrown around.

Just to give you an example, one of the strangest came from Belgium, who stated the Reds had an advantage because the young midfielder really wanted to meet NBA star Lebron James, one of the club’s shareholders.

In all fairness, we would be shocked if Liverpool weren’t at least a little keen on Barella, who has impressed over the past season or so with Cagliari, and Il Mattino think they might have taken a step forward on Wednesday.

According to the Italian newspaper, the player’s agent was present at the Champions League game between Napoli and Jürgen Klopp’s side, taking the opportunity to have a chat with the Serie A side’s director of football.

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Cristiano Giuntoli wanted to know what the situation was between Barella and Cagliari, and while his agent says the relationship between the two was strong, the Naples based club still decided a €30m bid in January would be made.

As for Liverpool, Il Mattino reckon that, because of their ‘serious’ interest, it is ‘probable’ the representative also had a chat with a few people from the travelling Anfield contingent.

Considering Cagliari are said to want around €50m for Barella, €30m definitely won’t be enough, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?