Chelsea target £45m Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella as Cesc Fabregas replacement

Cagliari 's Nicolo Barella in action vs Lazio
Image: Nicolo Barella is understood to be a target for Chelsea

Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella is on Chelsea's shortlist as they target a replacement for Cesc Fabregas, according to Sky sources.

The 21-year-old Italy international, who is under contract at the Serie A side until 2022, could cost the Blues as much as £45m.

Image: Cesc Fabregas' appearance against Nottingham Forest is understood to have been his last for Chelsea

Fabregas is understood to be holding talks with Monaco ahead of a move to the Ligue 1 side, and bade a tearful farewell to Stamford Bridge after Chelsea's FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

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Head coach Maurizio Sarri said last month he wants the club to buy another midfielder should Fabregas leave, saying: "If Cesc will go, I think that we need to buy another player, and it's not easy because, technically, Cesc is a very important player."

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Barella broke into the Italy squad this season, and has won four caps after making his debut in October.

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He has played 20 times for Cagliari, who are 13th in Serie A, this season, scoring once.

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