Manchester United were keen on signing Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella this summer with intermediaries expecting an offer.

United were always going to invest major money in new midfielders this summer.

Erik ten Hag just couldn’t go on relying on Fred, so United brought in two new midfielders.

Mason Mount arrived from Chelsea in a big-money move before United finally landed Sofyan Amrabat on deadline day.

United chased the Moroccan for most of the summer before eventually securing a loan deal with Fiorentina.

Other midfielders were considered and reports in Italy suggest a big-money target was wanted at Old Trafford.

Manchester United wanted Nicolo Barella

Tuttomercatoweb now report that United did show an interest in signing Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella.

It’s suggested that United were using intermediary agents in the pursuit of Barella – and those agents expected a bid.

The report claims that the intermediaries ‘made it clear that a proposal’ from United was in the pipeline.

No such offer seems to have materialised and the Italian press highlight that there was ‘no chance’ of United signing the Italian.

United’s deal for Amrabat is an initial loan with an option to buy in 2024, which could reach £30million all-in.

Barella would have been much more expensive; twice or even towards three times that amount given how expensive midfielders are these days.

Inter also wouldn’t have entertained a loan deal either, so there was little chance of an agreement being reached.

Maybe United considered Barella instead of Mount, but they are slightly different profiles and even then, Barella still would have been more expensive.

FC Internazionale v AC Milan - Serie A TIM
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Who is Inter Milan star Barella?

Barella came up through the youth ranks with hometown club Cagliari, joining at the age of nine and ending up making 112 appearances.

The 5ft 8in midfielder joined Inter on loan in 2019 before turning the move permanent a year later, and he has become a club hero at the San Siro.

Barella has racked up nearly 200 appearances for Inter, recording 20 goals in the process.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has hailed Barella as a ‘top class’ midfielder and he may get even better at just 26 years of age.

Barella would have been quite the addition to the United midfield, but signing him would have eaten up most of the summer budget and just never really felt all that realistic.

Maybe United will continue to keep tabs on Barella moving forward, possibly with a view to building a midfield around him down the line.