Chelsea have reportedly stepped up their pursuit for Marco Verratti by lodging an official bid for the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder.

According to a report in The Sun, Chelsea have launched the offensive to sign Marco Verratti from PSG in the summer transfer window, having tabled an official bid of £55 million for the Italian midfielder.

Verratti is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, having been a key figure for PSG for the last five seasons. 2016/17 was a season to forget for PSG – as they relinquished their Ligue 1 title and bowed out of the UEFA Champions League – but Verratti was one of the standout performers for the club.

The player has been ever present for Les Parisiens whenever fit, notching up 42 appearances in all competitions while also chipping in with 3 goals and 8 assists. But despite being such a vital cog in PSG’s first-team setup, his future at Parc des Princes is up in the air.

Verratti only signed a new five-year deal with the French heavyweights in January, but the report claims that they are willing to sell the player if the offer is right. As per The Sun, PSG have indeed received an official offer for the Italy international, with Chelsea tabling a bid of £55 million.

Chelsea have enjoyed a resurgence under Antonio Conte in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge, winning the Premier League title with three games to spare while also reaching next weekend’s FA Cup final.

But, the Italian manager is eager to build on his success by challenging for the Champions League next season. With the Blues set to compete on four fronts in 2017/18, there is a need for Conte to bolster his options for several positions.

Can Chelsea snap Verratti up in the summer? (Photo courtesy - Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images)

Can Chelsea snap Verratti up in the summer? (Photo courtesy – Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images)

Midfield is believed to be a priority for the Chelsea boss, as he currently has just N’Golo Kante, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas as the recognised options to play at the heart of midfield. However, Fabregas is being linked with a summer exit from Stamford Bridge.

Should the Spaniard choose to leave the club. Conte’s squad would severely lack a creative outlet from the centre of the park. Hence, the Chelsea boss has turned his attention towards Verratti – a player he is known to be an admirer of, having worked with him previously during his spell as the Italy manager.

However, the report adds that Verratti is happy in the French capital and is not willing to move away from PSG in the summer. But, with the club prepared to sell the player, he is believed to be weighing up a possible move to Chelsea. It now remains to be seen if the Blues are able to land Verratti in the summer.

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