Paris Saint-Germain manager, Unai Emery, says Barcelona and Real Madrid were interested in signing two players – one each – from the Parisian club in the summer. The Spaniard was giving an interview to El Pais about how he had some work on his hands to convince two of his star players to stay at the Parisian club.
And having done so, Emery has finally come out and revealed just who they were and which were the clubs that were interested in signing them. The first was young Brazilian centre-back, Marquinhos, who has been a target for Catalan club Barcelona for what seems like an eternity now.
The Catalans were in search for a young central defender and did enquire about Marquinho's availability, confirmed Emery. "He's a top player and he wants to remain at the top of his game,” he said.
"But yes, Barcelona wanted to sign him back in the summer. But he is indebted to PSG and feels gratitude for being given the opportunity to play at a big club.
“He might have felt flattered by Barcelona's interest but he respects what PSG have given him and done to ensure he continues here. That also says a lot about what a complete player he is.”
Marquinhos is considered one of the best young centre-backs in all of Europe and chose to stay at the Parisian club to work under the esteemed Spaniard who’s quickly developing a reputation for turning stars into superstars.
But the Brazilian wasn’t the only one in the Paris Saint-Germain side who were targetted by one of the big two clubs in Spain. Emery also revealed that Real Madrid were interested in signing Italian midfielder Marco Verratti in the summer. This too has been a link that’s been going on for ages but it finally looks like the interest was real.
"He's an impulsive young man and that's partly what makes him such a good player,” Emery said of young Verratti. “He gives his heart and soul. Against Rennes, on 85 minutes Di María put in through for what would have been his second goal of the game but he arrived a fraction too late.
“He was flat out on the floor when the keeper released the ball quickly to start a counter-attack; he jumped up and sprinted back to press the rivals... Verratti and Marquinhos are the soul of PSG".
The Ligue 1 champions are currently sitting third in the table but only a point behind leaders AS Monaco with a game in hand. They take on 10th placed Angers later tonight.