Ahead of the January transfer window, Chelsea are reportedly set to offer a fee of 40 million pounds for Cagliari youngster Nicolo Barella, according to Italian media outfit calciomercato.com.

The 21-year-old is widely regarded as one of the best young prospects in Serie A with Juventus, Roma, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan also interested in the midfielder.

Barella has been hailed by Italian great Andrea Pirlo as “one of the best players in Italy” and Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has urged the club to make a move for the midfielder in January.

Cagliari are desperate to hold on the young midfielder but a bid in excess of £40million from Chelsea could seriously test their resolve.

Italian national team boss Roberto Mancini rewarded him with his first cap in Italy’s 0-0 draw with Portugal in October following his impressive performances for Cagliari.

Barella rejected a move away from Cagliari last summer but revealed in October that he could be open to leaving Cagliari for the right offer: “If and when I have to leave, it will never be for money, but only for ambition. I do not care about Ferrari or the super penthouse; I do not play football to buy myself a beautiful car.”

Former England boss Fabio Capello has also been impressed with the 21-year-old midfielder.

Capello told Radio Anch’io Sport: “Barella’s the player who can change the tempo in midfield. He gives something more in terms of quality and quantity, which we [Italy] lacked before.

“He reminds me a bit of (Marco) Tardelli on a dynamic level.”

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