Liverpool could have an ace up their sleeve in the race to sign Nicolo Barella.
Barella, the Cagliari midfielder, was linked with a move to Anfield over the summer, but he failed to secure a switch to England.
There is also interest in the 21-year-old Italy youth international from his homeland, with Milan and Inter said to be tracking a player rated at around £45million.
Having stayed with Cagliari for another season Barella, who netted six times in 35 appearances last term, has opened up on the summer interest in him – revealing offers were made earlier this year.
“Cagliari received offers and turned them down,” Barella told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I am happy to have remained with the club I support.”
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Though Barella refused to reveal who was interested in securing his services, he did comment on his future and admit a move to England would be his preference.
And while Liverpool are likely to face a transfer battle now Barella has revealed England is where his future lies, Anfield chiefs will not be too worried as they have a key advantage over their rival Premier League clubs – LeBron James.
Barella continued: “If I had to choose between Serie A and the Premier League, I’d go for England, because I like the way they approach the game. Plus everyone there is just as irritable and prone to fouls as me!
“My dream is to get a nice house with a garden and a pool. And to meet LeBron James.”
James, the NBA superstar, got hold of a 2 per cent stake of Liverpool back in 2011, and his share is now said to be worth around $32million.
He was at Wembley on Saturday to watch the Reds’ defeat of Tottenham as they continued their 100 per cent start to the season, and Barella will get one step closer to finally meeting his idol if he opted to complete a switch to Anfield.