Inter midfielder Radja Nainggolan has urged his side to sign Cagliari superstar Nicolò Barella as his ‘heir’ at San Siro ahead of the January transfer window.
Italy international Barella has been on the rise in recent years and is often being linked with a move to the Premier League. Liverpool have most notably been linked with making an offer, but Maurizio Sarri’s arrival has seen Chelsea enter the fray for his signature.
Nainggolan doesn’t want to see Inter lose out on the Italian prospect however, and has said that the Nerazzurri could sign Barella as his long-term replacement.
“My heir at Inter? In Italy, I really like Barella from Cagliari, bad and clean, angry and with a winning mentality,” Nainggolan told Undici (via TEAMtalk). “I see myself as a youngster in him.”
Barella, who has a €45m price tag, has previously spoken about comparisons between the two midfielders, admitting that he would love to follow in the footsteps of Nainggolan and replicate his success.
“I think people say we’re similar because we always give 100 per cent on the field,” Barella said. “I hope to have a career like his but I still have so much to learn to reach those levels.”
The 21-year-old midfielder has already registered 91 appearances across all competitions for his hometown side Cagliari. Barella scored six goals last season, including against Lazio and AC Milan, to help the Rossoblu fight their way out of a relegation battle.
This season, Rolando Maran’s side are only five points above the relegation zone, although a favourable run of games between Christmas and February should give Cagliari enough points to stay afloat for another season.