With Nicolo Barella being one of the main stars in Inter Milan’s squad, the midfielder is currently valued by Transfermarkt at €75m, with the Nerazzurri doing their best to hold him there.

It turns out that Manchester City once had the chance to sign him for much less than that, according to some words in the Italian media today.

TV Play, relayed by TuttoMercatoWeb, today had an interview with coach Luigi Di Biagio. He claims that at the time he worked for the national team, he was asked by Pep Guardiola’s side about Barella’s potential.

“Barella is one of those I brought up, he was 18 when he was with me in the Under-21s and they called from City for information. What was he like as a boy on a professional level. Today it’s easy to say, at that moment I said ‘get him immediately’. When a team asks you how he is as a person it means that on a technical level they know him. So I took the liberty of telling them to take him now because he has incredible room for improvement. Then he took a different path, better for Inter.”

Di Biagio is talking about a time when Barella belonged to Cagliari and was already playing for Italy’s youth ranks. That story probably dates back to 2015, and it was only in 2019 that Inter Milan signed him. The Nerazzurri first spent €12m to get him on a loan deal and then had the purchase confirmed for another €32.5m.

Covering the quotes, TutttoMercatoWeb recalls that Manchester City tried to sign Barella last summer. That’s a clear sign they regret not having brought him when they first thought about it.