Chelsea are not yet prepared to back Maurizio Sarri in his pursuit of Manchester United target Nicolo Barella, who only remains a desire of the Blues manager, it has been claimed.

The 21-year-old midfielder has emerged as a target for several clubs in Europe due to his consistent performances in the top tier of Italian football over the 18 months.

Inter have been keeping tabs on him for a number of months and Napoli are prepared to make a big investment to take him to the San Paolo in January or next summer.

Chelsea have also been linked with an interest Barella and the club reportedly tabled a bid to take the midfielder to Stamford Bridge in this month recently, while Manchester United are also in the mix.

But according to Sky Italia, the midfielder is more of a personal target for Sarri than Chelsea and the club are not at present prepared to back the manager in pursuit of the 21-year-old.

The club have other priorities and Barella is not a player Chelsea are planning to sign in the winter window and a move to England could be more likely to be offered by Manchester United.

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For the moment, Napoli are the only club who have made a concrete move for Barella by tabling a bid with Cagliari and a contract offer to the player himself.

The Serie A giants are serious about signing the midfielder, but the jury is out on whether Barella will move this month.