Chelsea and Dortmund target Berardi will cost €40m, say Sassuolo

Cameron Smith
Domenico Berardi, Italy, Euro 2020 final

Sassuolo have priced their star forward Domenico Berardi at €40 million as rumours of a move away intensify.

The Italy international had a stellar 2020/21 season, scoring 17 goals and assisting seven in just 28 Serie A starts. In fact, his 24 goal contributions in the league, was the exact same amount as Federico Chiesa managed in all competitions, despite the Juventus man playing around 500 minutes more.

Chiesa has been linked with a move away to the likes of Liverpool and Bayern Munich for more than €100m, so Berardi could be considered a steal at just €40m.

Berardi started Euro 2020 as Roberto Mancini's preferred option on the right, and whilst Chiesa did replace him for the knockout stages, he impressed in Group A.

Having come through Sassuolo's youth system, Berardi is now their all-time record goal-scorer, and it's perhaps a surprise that he hasn't left the club before now. Saying that, he was signed by Juventus in 2013, but after two loan spells back at Sassuolo, he returned to his boyhood club on a permanent deal in 2015, having never played for the Old Lady.

After impressing for several seasons now, both Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund are said to be interested in the winger, with La Gazzetta dello Sport reporting this interest.

Berardi's wife has even said: "it's time to take flight", and it seems his future lies elsewhere.

Sancho's replacement at Dortmund?

Jadon Sancho's move to Manchester United has left Dortmund needing to fill a gaping hole in their attack. The Englishman has been crucial for them in recent years, and his exit has left them in need of a replacement.

Donyell Malen seems likely to join the club, but the Dutch forward is much more of a number nine, rather than a winger, and his arrival may come as a future Erling Haaland replacement, not a Sancho one.

Berardi could hence fill that role, and for €40m, they'd be getting an excellent player who is still just 26-years-old.

With 10 big chances created in Serie A last year, Berardi was just two behind Sancho's tally, and his xG + xA per 90 total of 0.74 in 2020/21 was actually better than Sancho's 0.65.

Berardi would be the kind of smart signing that Dortmund have become known for, and could well consolidate their place in the Champions League spots in the Bundesliga.

Why Chelsea won't sign him

Whilst Berardi would be an excellent signing for Dortmund, he wouldn't for Chelsea.

He had a better season last year than most of Chelsea's attackers, but the Blues are gunning for Haaland, and with a plethora of options in the forward department, they don't need him.

Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic all played bit-part roles last year, and so Berardi would just add to a problem, rather than solve one.

However, Berardi is one of Europe's most talented widemen, and most certainly deserves a move away from Sassuolo.