Inter looking to extend Nicolo Barella's contract

Nicolo Barella of Italy speaks with the media during press conference at Centro Tecnico Federale di Coverciano on July 04, 2021 in Florence, Italy.

Inter are planning to open contract talks with Euro 2020 winner Nicolo Barella, having already all but secured a new five-year deal with star forward Lautaro Martinez.

Martinez had been linked with a move to the Premier League in the summer but is now understood to have agreed a new contract at San Siro, which is simply missing an official announcement.

Keeping the Argentine is an enormous sign of intent from Inter, but they are not prepared to rest on their laurels and Gazzetta dello Sport state that negotiations will soon be opened over an extension for the impressive Barella.

Barella, who only joined the club permanently last summer, still has three years remaining on his current deal, but Inter's desire to extend it stems more from a wish to reward the 24-year-old for his emergence as one of the game's best midfielders.

Having played a core role in Inter's run to Serie A glory last season, Barella then went on to shine at Euro 2020 as Italy lifted trophy - prompting links to a handful of the Premier League's elite. Liverpool were regularly touted as suitors, although those reports usually left a lot to be desired.

Inter have no interest in offloading their star midfielder, whom they plan to make their captain next season if goalkeeper Samir Handanovic leaves upon the expiry of his contract, so they intend to secure his future with the offer of improved terms as soon as possible.

Those in charge at the club are embarking on a quest to bring down the average age of their squad. On top of potentially allowing 37-year-old Handanovic to walk for free, there are also currently no plans to extend the contracts of Ivan Perisic (32), Aleksandar Kolarov (35), Danilo D'Ambrosio (33) and Andrea Ranocchia (33).

There are also doubts about the future of Alexis Sanchez. The 32-year-old Chilean is under contract until 2023 but is well down the pecking order these days, with Martinez and summer signings Joaquin Correa and Edin Dzeko all ahead of him.

Signing Dzeko had not been part of Inter's initial plans - he's 35 and completely goes against their plan to build a younger side - but those in charge had to accept that immediate results carry vast importance and made a decision to break their own rule.

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