Chelsea face competition for £44m-rated midfielder’s signature

AC Milan have upped their interest in Cagliari Calcio midfielder Nicolo Barella.

The Italian star attracted strong interest from the Premier League during the January transfer window, with Chelsea and Arsenal both reported to be admirers of the talented midfielder.

However, a move never materialised, and there have been claims that the player may prefer to continue playing in Serie A at this stage of his career.

According to Sky Italia, AC Milan have contacted Cagliari to discuss a deal for Nicolo Barella ahead of the summer transfer window.

The report adds that Rossnerri sporting director Leonardo and Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini have already held talks, although it is alleged that Nicolo Barella could cost in the region of €50m (£43.16m).

Chelsea attempted to sign the youngster in January and even submitted €50 million offer, but the midfielder rejected the move to develop his game in Italy.

Summer arrival Jorginho has failed to live up the expectations in the Premier League and has been heavily criticised during the whole campaign as the Chelsea strikers have been struggling in front of the goal.

Chelsea signed Gonzalo Higuain in January transfer window as Maurizio Sarri wanted his man desperately in winter, but the Argentina international has only scored three goals in the Premier League and all of these goals came against struggling Huddersfield and Fulham.

Chelsea are expected to let the South American return to Juventus with Tammy Abraham being in-form for John Terry’s Aston Villa in the Championship as the youngster netted 21 goals.