It’s no secret that Newcastle United, before going for Sandro Tonali, made an approach for Nicolò Barella, currently at Inter Milan.

Eddie Howe was desperate to add another star to his midfield, and the all-purpose Italian was seen as a perfect complement to his already rather strong squad.

However, as Corriere dello Sport point out following Barella’s inclusion in the 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or, any talks Newcastle may have wanted to open were put to bed very quickly.

There is no surprise at seeing the Inter midfielder on the list, since he was instrumental in guiding his club to a Champions League final against Manchester City, which they came close to winning.

This domination is why Newcastle targeted him, but Corriere explain that while the Magpies made the ‘most direct’ approach out of all interested parties, they found the ‘door closed’ by both the player himself and the club.

When they realised there were ‘no margins’ to get a deal done, they then quickly turned their attention to a certain Sandro Tonali.

AC Milan were more receptive to Newcastle’s money, and negotiated a hefty sale, which they reinvested in numerous players to add more depth to their squad.

Tonali has since made an instant impact at St James’ Park, while the Serie A side appear much better suited for another lengthy campaign thanks to their new additions.

All in all, a win-win for the clubs involved, and likely little to no regret on Tyneside that a deal for Barella never materialised.