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Arsenal's Nicolo Barella hopes hinge on Champions League football?

Arsenal's Barella hopes hinge on CL?
© Reuters
Arsenal will reportedly not be able to afford £43m-rated midfielder Nicolo Barella unless they qualify for next season's Champions League.

Arsenal must qualify for the Champions League if they are to have any hope of signing Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella, according to a report.

The Gunners are apparently trying to hijack Chelsea's move for the Italy international as they see him as an ideal replacement for Juventus-bound Aaron Ramsey.

AC Milan's Franck Kessie is an alternative option, but The Mirror reports that Barella is Unai Emery's preferred target.

However, Arsenal's hopes of landing the 22-year-old could depend on whether they can regain Champions League status over the next two months.

Emery's men can achieve that via two routes - either by finishing in the top four of the Premier League or by winning the Europa League, with a quarter-final against Napoli up next.

Barella is believed to be valued at £43m by Cagliari, which Arsenal will not be able to afford unless they return to the top table of European football.

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AC Milan's Franck Kessie pictured in January 2019
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