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Former Italian international striker Antonio Cassano has criticised Chelsea regarding their interest in Cagliari youngster Nicola Barella, saying that Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara is four or five times as good as him.
Chelsea have linked with a £45 million move for the 21-year-old following the departure of Cesc Fabregas but Cassano believes that Chelsea must be mad to spend so much on the youngster.
The Italian has slammed the Blues over the price tag of Barella, saying that ” football is going in a very wrong direction”.
But iconic Italian forward Cassano, who retired last October, believes it would be “madness” for Chelsea to spend so much on Barella.
“Unfortunately today football is going in a very wrong direction,” Cassano said in an interview with Sky Sports Italy.
“Barella is worth 50 million euros? OK, so how much is Thiago Alcantara of Bayern Munich?
“He [Thiago] is young too, he is 27 years old. He is worth at least four or five times more than Barella.
“A player makes two good games, he runs right and left, maybe he is also a player of quantities like Allan or Barella, and then he is worth immediately 50, 60, 80 million?
“For me it is madness.”
Another Italian youngster that has caught the eye this season is Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo, who joined the club from Inter Milan last summer.
Aged just 19, the exciting attacking midfield player netted his first goal for the club on Boxing Day, with some even comparing him to Roma great Francesco Totti.
Cassano, though, has laughed off that comparison, despite stating his admiration for Zaniolo.
“I saw him [Zaniolo] play a couple of games, he’s good, but he’s still young,” he added.
“We’re not making comparisons with Totti, he’s a different player from the classic natural talent, in the sense that he’s very physical, he must be physically fit to play.
“He has good quality, he has room for improvement and he has personality. I still haven’t figured out if he’s a midfielder or a forward, but I like him.”