German legend Lothar Matthaus has claimed that Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella, who is reported to be on Tottenham’s radar is better than the likes of Marco Verratti and Frenkie de Jong.
Barella has developed considerably since arriving at Inter in 2019 and is now regarded as one of the best midfielders in Serie A.
His consistent displays for Antonio Conte’s side have also seen him establish himself as a regular for the Italian national side ahead of the Euros in the summer.
CalcioMercato reported in January that Spurs had their eye on the midfielder, whose current deal at the San Siro runs until 2024.
However, Fabrizio Romano revealed a fortnight ago that it will be difficult for Spurs to complete a deal for the 24-year-old since Inter are determined to keep him at the club.
While discussing Veratti’s strengths and weaknesses, Matthaus insisted that the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder does not belong in the elite category of central midfielders that Barella is part of.
The former Bayern Munich star also named another rumoured Spurs target in Marcel Sabitzer in the second tier just below the likes of Barella and Ilkay Gundogan.
Matthaus told Goal.com: “In the Italian team, (Verratti) has never really delivered large-scale performances in a major competition, while a player like Nicolo Barella has shown the extent of his talent with high-level performances over time.
“I place Verratti roughly at the same rank as Frenkie De Jong, Marcel Sabitzer and Denis Zakaria, but a notch below Ilkay Gundogan, Nicolo Barella, Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich.
“At the moment, Gundogan’s level of play at Manchester City is exceptional, like Kimmich at Bayern Munich and Nicolo Barella at Inter.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Barella will almost certainly be out of Tottenham’s price range given the level he is playing at this season. The only player from the above list of names that could potentially be within our reach is Sabitzer since he will only have a year left on his contract at the end of the season. However, even the RB Leipzig man will not be easy to get as we might be faced with plenty of competition for his signature.
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