Liverpool transfer blow as Real Madrid enter race for Inter Milan ace Nicolo Barella

Klopp plays down title chances as Liverpool close on Manchester City

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Liverpool have been dealt a major transfer blow ahead of the summer window after Real Madrid entered the race for Nicolo Barella. The Inter Milan star has long been on the shortlist at Anfield but Jurgen Klopp might now have to look elsewhere.

Liverpool’s transfer plans have taken a hit after Real Madrid entered the race for Inter star Barella. The midfielder is among one of several targets for the Reds with the position in need of strengthening.

Klopp has been on the lookout for a new midfielder after the departure of Georginio Wijnaldum last summer. The Dutchman left for Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expired at the end of last season.

Interest in Barella grew over the summer but a move failed to materialise, mainly because Liverpool chiefs were sure that there were enough options for Klopp. However, there have been problems during the season through several reasons.

Thiago Alcantara, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita have had fitness issues while Harvey Elliott is still being nurtured for the role having played in more advanced positions during his short career.

Klopp was also impressed with Barella’s impact during their recent Champions League clash with Inter Milan, in which Liverpool triumphed. They were given plenty of problems from Simone Inzaghi’s side, though, while the Italy international also starred for his country during their Euro 2020 victory last summer.

But the Reds might have to lock horns with Real Madrid if they want to prise the 25-year-old away from the San Siro. That is because according to El Nacional, the Spanish giants have made the Italian a top target.

Carlo Ancelotti sees his countryman as the ideal long-term replacement to Toni Kroos while many at the club believe they will need to refresh their midfield soon. The 32-year-old makes up an ageing contingent of Luka Modric, 35, and Casemiro, 30, in Real’s engine department.

Los Blancos were utterly thrashed at the Bernabeu by Barcelona on Sunday in an eye-opening El Clasico where the Madrid midfield were ransacked by the more energetic youngsters in Xavi’s side, including Pedri and Frenkie de Jong.

If Real Madrid go ahead with their plans to sign Barella, it will leave Liverpool in the lurch. There are several targets being chased by the Anfield outfit, though.

Leicester’s Your Tielemans is high on the wish list after Brendan Rodgers admitted he would not sign a new contract. Other targets include Barcelona ace Gavi and Monaco star Aurelien Tchouameni.

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