Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti is reported to still be on the radar of Serie A champions Juventus, but the Italian powerhouse won’t meet PSG’s valuation in their efforts to bring him back to his home country.
Calciomercato.com (h/t Football Italia) said Verratti “is and will always remain a favourite” of the Bianconeri, but the club are refusing to shell out an extortionate amount for his signature.
Verratti, 25, moved to the Parc des Princes from Pescara in 2012 and has developed into one of the most prized assets at PSG, not to mention establishing himself as an important figure in Italy’s national team.
The playmaker was recently unnecessarily sent off in the UEFA Champions League last-16 exit to Real Madrid, but manager Unai Emery nonetheless kept faith in his charge after the defeat, via Goal:
Verratti is still PSG’s ‘present and future’ despite his red card against Real Madrid https://t.co/jSgL6cpj0N
Football Italia reported Juve won’t make an “excessive investment” in Verratti due to the fact they already have Bosnia and Herzegovina international Miralem Pjanic thriving in a similar role, having dropped deeper in midfield over recent years.
Verratti has another three-and-a-half years left to run on his PSG contract, and the club can afford to play hard ball with suitors considering they have no desperate need of the transfer funds.
The Italian was linked with a move to Barcelona last summer and gave an apology to PSG’s official website after ex-agent Donato Di Campli told Corriere dello Sport (h/t Goal’s Jamie Smith) Verratti was a prisoner at the club.
In any case, Italian football writer David Amoyal doesn’t see a transfer between the two clubs as likely, with wages being one of the more significant stumbling blocks:
David Amoyal @DavidAmoyal
@JuveONada @alex_wright7 I wouldn’t get my hopes up, his wages would be very high for Juve aside from fact PSG always keeps the players they want to (I guess they could decide to sacrifice Verratti but as of now seems unlikely)
PSG have for some years attempted to build an imposing squad made up of elite stars, and it would make little sense to sell Verratti, one of their younger assets who is still yet to enter his prime playing years.
BT Sport’s Adam Summerton did note his omission from Serie A competition, however, which is sure to be one box he’d like to check off before entering the twilight years of his career:
Adam Summerton @adamsummerton
Would love to see Verratti back in Italy – crazy that he’s never played in Serie A. Super talented but seems to have plateaued somewhat
The Bianconeri already boast an impressive midfield array comprising the likes of Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi, Claudio Marchisio, Sami Khedira and Stefano Sturaro, but Verratti could be seen as an upgrade on most of those.
The finances to tempt the player and PSG into a transfer may well be beyond Juve’s capability right now, but it’s unlikely Verratti will be leaving the Turin outfit’s wanted list anytime soon.