Barcelona transfer news: Verratti talks about a summer move, Messi wants Chelsea star and more - 19th March 2018
Marco Verratti speaks about Barcelona links
The 25-year old is one of the finest midfielders in world football with his technique and passing ability compared to Barcelona legend Xavi. The Italian was asked regarding his future with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), especially after they faltered again in their quest to win the Champions League. He told La Gazzetta dello Sport:
"I have read that Raiola has offered me to Barcelona. It's false. I have talked with my chiefs, they know what I think, things are clear: I decided to stay. I want to win with PSG that allowed me to grow as a man, and to share an ambitious project, I hope so my companions think so: a defeat can not eliminate everything ".
Thus, Verratti has put the rumours to bed as decisively as one can expect. Meanwhile, Barcelona's deal to sign Arthur Melo from Gremio should resolve the midfield problem for the next season. While the Brazilian is not as accomplished as the PSG star, he definitely has the necessary skill-set to succeed.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen wants Andres Iniesta to stay
The club captain revealed after his side's victory against Chelsea in the Champions League that he has an offer from China. Despite signing a 'lifetime' contract this season, the 33-year old is determined to make the right decision for himself as well as the club. Now, Barcelona no.1, Marc-Andre ter Stegen spoke about the situation after he kept a clean sheet against Athletic Bilbao in the La Liga and said:
"It's a personal decision and everyone hopes he stays at Barca because he's a great person. We know that we have to keep going as a team until the end of the season and we need him right now and for many more years."
"We are thinking about the present and he'll make the decision. I hope he stays but the only person that knows what to do is him. We know he's a great person who knows he is very important for the club and we'll try everything to convince him to stay. It's a personal decision and we're going to support him whatever he does. We love him as a captain."
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde also expressed his desire to have Iniesta in his team for future seasons and said:
"For now all we can do is wait and see what he decides to do. We know what he gives us and we would all like to have Iniesta around forever."
Thus, the club and its fans want Iniesta to stay but it is entirely up to the player whether he wants a reduced role with Philippe Coutinho in the team and Arthur arriving in the coming months.
Lionel Messi wants Marcos Alonso in the summer
The Chelsea left-back is wanted by the Argentine at the Camp Nou if Don Balon is to be believed. The Spanish news outlet states Messi is more involved than ever in the club's transfer dealings as he is set to become the outright captain in the summer if Iniesta decides to leave. Thus, La Pulga is becoming more influential in transfers and he believes Marcos Alonso is one of the key targets for summer.
The Spaniard has come into the limelight at Chelsea due to his attacking ability and his penchant for scoring from direct free-kicks. Barcelona currently do not have an ideal backup for Jordi Alba with Lucas Digne failing to impress so far. Thus the Blaugrana are expected to shop in the summer transfer window to fill the role and Messi believes Alonso can do the job while providing proper competition to Alba.
Alonso might very well push for a move should Barcelona come for him but he has to stay put until the end of the season before deciding on his future.