Inter are ‘close’ to agreeing a new contract with key midfielder and Euro 2020 winner Nicolo Barella, chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has confirmed.
Barella’s current deal at San Siro still has almost three years left to run, but the player has become a major asset since his permanent transfer from Cagliari in 2020 and his higher status within the squad deserves to be recognised accordingly.
Despite an initial point in the early summer where a departure looked likely, Inter have also been in advanced contract talks with Lautaro Martinez for some time. Marcelo Brozovic is another in line for a new deal, despite recent speculation linking the Croatian with a transfer to Chelsea.
“Barella and Lautaro will extend their contract with a pay rise, we are close. Brozovic’s contract is expiring, it will take more time, but I am confident,” Marotta told Corriere della Sera this week.
Barella initially joined Inter on loan in 2019, with an obligation to make the transfer permanent the following year. He missed only two Serie A games last season as the Nerazzurri won a first scudetto in more than a decade – one of those was after the title was already won.
The player then went on to have an important role for Italy at Euro 2020, starting every game except for the group stage dead rubber against Wales.
Barella has since started every game for Inter this season in Serie A and the Champions League and already has six assists to his name in just eight domestic matches so far – only three fewer than his final Serie A tally for the whole of last season.
Also this week, Marotta publicly questioned Romelu Lukaku’s motives for leaving Inter, suggesting the Belgian was chasing a big pay day when he returned to former club Chelsea.
“Lukaku was sold for €115m and we bought Dzeko for free,” the club chief said. “On the pitch, there isn’t much difference. Lukaku left to double his salary, in Italy these figures can’t exist.”