Arsenal sent scouts to watch Nicolo Barella play for Italy against Finland on Saturday, according to reports.
The Cagliari midfielder is set to be in high demand this summer after Chelsea failed in a bid to sign him in the January transfer window.
Arsenal were linked with Barella after Chelsea’s interest emerged and La Gazzetta dello Sport claim the Gunners sent a delegation to watch Barella in action over the weekend.
Barella was making his fourth international appearance for Italy and capped his performance with his first international goal.
Although the long-range effort took a deflection, Barella nonetheless impressed in the 2-0 victory with Arsenal’s scouts watching.
Cagliari have already confirmed Maurizio Sarri was desperate to sign Barella in January and the Chelsea boss reportedly still sees the 22-year-old as the perfect replacement for the departed Cesc Fabregas.
Barella could cost as much as £43million this summer if Cagliari do decide to cash in on the Italian.
After grabbing his first goal on the international scene, club president Tommaso Giulini believes their asking price for Barella will only rise between now and the end of the season.
Should Arsenal decide to go all out for Barella, they will need to fight off competition from Inter and Napoli, as well as their Premier League rivals Chelsea.
Unai Emery is still unsure how much he will have to spend in the summer as the Gunners wait to see if they can claim a Champions League spot. (UK Metro)