Arsenal face Liverpool, Man Utd competition for Houssem Aouar transfer alternative

Arsenal have identified a potential alternative to Houssem Aouar, who they failed to sign during the summer transfer window, but will also face competition from Liverpool and Manchester United for his signature. Reports claim Inter Milan’s 23-year-old playmaker Nicolo Barella.

Arsenal are still reeling from their failure to land Aouar in the previous transfer window.

Having tracked the Lyon midfielder throughout the summer, they were forced to look elsewhere with just days remaining after refusing to meet his asking price.

The Ligue 1 side demanded a fee in the region of £54million for their star asset amid reported interest from Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Arsenal ended up spending big to sign Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid instead, but are now without a creative midfielder to help unleash their front three.

That was evident in their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa on Sunday as they were unable to get the ball forward, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failing to register a single shot in the game.

But now, they could have the answer to their problems, as they are reportedly looking at Inter’s Barella.

Barella, like Partey, can play anywhere through the middle of the pitch and is comfortable in a number ten or number six role.

The 23-year-old joined Inter in the 2019 summer transfer window on an initial loan, though that was made permanent this summer when he signed for £22.5million.

Regardless, he is already garnering attention from elsewhere, with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid also watching him.

Barella is under contract until 2024, meaning Inter are under no pressure to sell anytime soon.

But according to Italian outlet Inter News, they are already concerned about the interest in him and want to secure their star to a new contract.

Inter chiefs are reportedly trying to extend his contract for a further year to 2025 and increase his salary significantly.

Currently, he earns a reported £43,000 per-week at Inter, but his new contract would see him earn closer to £70,000.

Barella caught the eye of onlookers during Inter’s draw with Real Madrid in the Champions League last week.

The midfielder produced a brilliant backheel volley assist for Lautaro Martinez, who slotted into the top corner after having the ball put on a plate for him.

Speaking last month, Barella heaped praise on Inter boss Antonio Conte for his role in developing him.

He said: “He didn’t give me direct advice on the role, but he has helped me a lot since I arrived.

“I have become a more complete player.

“I think I have improved in managing the games and I have improved in timing in choosing the plays.

“In this respect he helped me a lot.”

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