Cagliari president Tomasso Guilini has revealed that Chelsea and Napoli both expressed an interest in the club's prized asset Nicolo Barella in January.
The Serie A side are braced for further bids but Guilini also warned clubs they'd better be prepared to pay in excess of
Barella has quickly risen to become a regular starter for the Italian national side in the past year, which has attracted further interest from some of Europe's top clubs.
Guilini rates Barella very highly, comparing his style to Inter star Radja Nainggolan. He added: “It’s banal to make the comparison, but he does remind me of Radja Nainggolan, even if Nicolò is more technically-gifted than Radja.”
The versatile 22-year-old has become one of the hottest young stars in Serie A for intelligence and composure beyond his years. Barella won consecutive Italian Young Player of the Year awards in 2012 and 2013, drawing comparisons to Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard.