Nicolo Barella was able to get the Liverpool shirt number after the transfer on one condition: Liverpool Echo

Nicolo Barella was able to get the Liverpool shirt number after the transfer on one condition: Liverpool Echo

Jurgen Klopp has made no secret of his admiration for Nicolo Barella and – in an ideal world – he could be the perfect addition to his Liverpool squad.

A box-to-box midfielder with myriad attributes, Barella has long been linked with a move to Anfield as speculation over his future at Inter Milan ramps up again this summer. However, there are one or two complications when it comes to a proposed transfer to Liverpool.

Now that initial plans to target Jude Bellingham have been shelved – due to the huge financial cost involved – price remains a concern. Even if they decide to cash in on their star man, Inter would want around £80 million for Barella on a three-year contract.

That said, reports from Italian publication Il Tempo claim the figure could be even closer to €80m (£68m). Anyway, there are other clubs like Newcastle United lurking behind his signature.

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Liverpool failing to book their place in the Champions League is another thing to consider. However, the Reds still have huge appeal and, if all goes according to plan, they will be out of major European competition for just 12 months if they finish in the top four again next season.

Perhaps the biggest problem lies with the player itself. Inter are said to be ‘open’ to a sale, but conflicting reports indicate Barella is ‘happy’ at San Siro and has no intention of leaving.

That’s where Klopp and his public admiration can come in. Depending on the budget, the 26-year-old would clearly be welcomed with open arms at Anfield.

Should he eventually land, a dream shirt number awaits him – with a small catch. Barella currently wears number 23 for Inter and has done so since his transfer from Cagliari three summer ago.

Of course, that particular shirt is currently taken up by Luis Diaz, but there’s a chance the Colombian will opt to move to the club’s iconic number 7 after James Milner left it on his departure. Other jersey numbers available now include; 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 24 and 25 – along with further options in the 1930s and 1940s.

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