Enzo Fernandez's strong pursuit by Chelsea has been well-documented; Fabrizio Romano confirmed this to CaughtOffside in his Substack blog. Chelsea contacted Inter Milan to inquire about Barella's availability before the transfer window closed, but the Italian club declined. For Chelsea going into the second part of the season, Barella would have been the ideal midfielder. Barella, who is only 25 years old and already has a tonne of experience, is still a player who may be signed with the long term in mind.
Given the number of players that were connected with moves to Stamford Bridge in the closing days of the transfer window, it is quite obvious that Chelsea gave a midfielder top priority. It would be intriguing to see whether Chelsea can sign a midfielder before the transfer window closes.