Barcelona Transfer News: Marco Verratti rejects Barcelona and confirms he will stay with PSG
- Even a 70 million euros bid was not enough to tempt Verratti and PSG
What’s the story?
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has confirmed that he is staying with the Ligue 1 giants for the next season. Barcelona had made the Italian their #1 transfer target, with Verratti impressing technical director Robert Fernandez – enough to make a bid. However, speaking to television channel RaiSport after Italy’s 2-0 win over Albania in FIFA World Cup Qualifying, Verratti confirmed that he has rejected Barcelona’s offer, saying “I'm happy in Paris, it's a great project and I'll still be there next season.”
Marco Verratti’s sterling performances for PSG had caught the eye of Barcelona, with even Xavi going so far as to christen the Italian as his successor. It led to multiple reports in Spain claiming that the Italian had instructed his agent to listen to offers from Barcelona and Manchester United, after growing frustrated with PSG’s lack of European success.
The heart of the matter
Barcelona had reportedly placed a massive €70 million bid with PSG, which the Ligue 1 champions appear to have shot down. Perhaps Verratti has grown nervous at the prospect of playing at the Camp Nou, since the stadium is where his worst moment in football occurred. The Italian said, “You can learn a lot from defeats but the game against Barcelona, for me, was a big disappointment. On a personal level it was one of the worst nights of my life, but it made me understand you always have to give everything.”
Verratti was reportedly unhappy with Unai Emery, but reports claim that a conversation with PSG CEO, Nasser Al-Khelaifi has changed the Italian midfielder’s mind. The French club outlined a plan to sign new superstars so that Verratti can fulfill his European ambitions.
Even the prospect of being Barcelona’s midfield lynchpin has not appeared to have turned Verratti’s head.
PSG will be glad to know that Verratti plans on staying for at least a season more – they can make long term plans around it. As for Barcelona, the La Liga giants will have to look elsewhere in their search for a central midfielder.
Verratti might have made a huge error in rejecting Barcelona – the Catalan side are tailor-made for his talents, and a chance to move to one of the biggest clubs in the world may not arrive again. While PSG’s profile is big, they cannot compare in terms of history.Published 25 Mar 2017, 20:11 IST