Luciano Spalletti said Inter Milan centre-back Milan Skriniar was worth more than €100 million after his outstanding performance in Tuesday’s Champions League draw at home to Barcelona.
Sources have said that Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt is Barca’s top target in defence, but Skriniar is reportedly an alternative.
Manchester United and Real Madrid have also been linked with the Slovakia international as they look to add competition for Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane.
“If it’s Barcelona, they will have to pay €100m and if I am them I would pay a €20m tip on top,” coach Spalletti told a news conference.
“And if I’m Real Madrid, the [€100m] with a €40m tip — that is how highly I rate Skriniar.”
Skriniar, 23, joined Inter from Sampdoria last year and was a driving force behind their return to the Champions League as they finished fourth in Serie A.
He impressed against Barca as Mauro Icardi’s late equaliser cancelled out Malcom’s opener in a 1-1 draw.
Barca racked up 27 shots, but the majority were from distance as they struggled to find ways past Skriniar and centre-back partner Stefan de Vrij.
The result saw Barca reach the knockout rounds, but Inter have work to do to join them and face Tottenham Hotspur in a key game at Wembley later this month.
“We struggled in the first half against Barca,” Spalletti said. “Like at the Camp Nou, we had trouble keeping the ball. We countered a few times and caused some problems, but it was really difficult for us to take the weight off and hold the ball for a while.
“In that area, Barcelona are still stronger than anyone else. They’re so good at passing it crisply and shrugging off defenders, it’s really remarkable to watch from the touchline. The timing is so good because if you press them, they immediately hit you in the space left behind.
“But we played with courage and had the attitude than the crowd wanted, so we’re happy about that.”