Rumour: Marco Veratti tells agent to listen to offers from Barcelona and Manchester United
The French press may have exacerbated the Italian midfielder's exit with a 70 million euro fee being mooted
What’s the story?
Barcelona and Manchester United’s chase for Marco Verratti got fresh impetus after reports from Spain [Mundo Deportivo] emerged that the Italian midfielder has authorised his agent to listen to offers as he is keen to leave PSG. Donato di Campli, Verratti’s agent, earlier said, “It's true too that my phone doesn't stop ringing. If anything like this [referring to PSG’s 6-1 loss at the hands of Barcelona] happens again, we will have to think seriously.”
Ariedo Braida, Barcelona’s international sporting director, has close links with Marco Verratti, initially tipping off PSG’s technical director, Leonardo de Araujo, about the Italian’s talents when he was at Pescara. Verratti went on to sign for the Parisians and is now considered one of the best midfielders in the world.
However, his position at PSG has come under the spotlight despite signing a contract until 2021, due to recent speculation in the French press.
The heart of the matter
Following PSG’s catastrophic 6-1 defeat to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League, which saw them create history by throwing away a 4-0 lead in the first leg, Verratti was said to be considering his future, but was reassured by PSG CEO, Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sporting director, Patrick Kluivert.
However, French publication L’Equipe accused Verratti and Blaise Matuidi of spending the night in a nightclub with Rihanna just 48 hours before the game against Barcelona. Verratti is furious with rumours being spread about him, with Di Campli describing it as ‘pure invention’ and that his client would be seeking damages.
Manchester United are hoping that a €70 million offer will be enough to tempt PSG into selling, but Barcelona have the upper hand with Verratti personally keen on being the successor to Xavi. The Spanish midfielder previously said, “I love Verratti. I like his vision of the game. He never loses the ball. He would fit well in the Barca game. I'd like to see him at Barcelona.“
PSG are hoping to build the team around Verratti, as was admitted to by Kluivert, but will be unable to do much if Verratti makes his decision to leave, considering how much power players hold in negotiations nowadays.
Verratti would walk into both Barcelona and Manchester United’s underperforming midfield, although the lure of playing for the Catalans might prove greater. The Italian midfielder has made no secret of his desire to win the UEFA Champions League, which Barcelona seem better placed to do so at the moment, than Manchester United.