Barcelona are aiming to land the Italian midfielder Marco Verratti from PSG to replace Paulinho at Camp Nou this summer.
According to a report by Spanish publication Don Balon, Barcelona are planning to secure the services of Marco Verratti from PSG, as they seek to reinforce their midfield options after the departure of Paulinho from Camp Nou.
Marco Verratti, who plays as a central midfielder for Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, is one of the notable players behind their domestic dominance and is considered to be the heir of legendary midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Andrea Pirlo. The Italian international joined PSG in 2012 and has since won five Ligue 1 titles with the French club.
His graceful displays at midfield in recent seasons have alerted several big name clubs across Europe, with Barcelona’s interest in the Italian international well documented. But, any and every bids have been altogether declined by Les Parisiens, with president Nasser Al-Khelaifi a firm believer that Verratti is crucial to his club’s expectations of winning the Champions League.
But, trouble seems to be brewing between PSG and Verratti. With new manager Thomas Tuchel known to be strict with the fitness regimes of his players, Verratti seems to be one of the players affected by the strict regime. Being told to lose weight has not gone down well with the Italian international and his agent Mina Raiola, who appears to have quickly gone to work, sounding out potential moves.
Therefore, Barcelona have reignited their interest in the Italian international with the departures of Paulinho and Andres Iniesta from the club have created a void in the midfield. Moreover, Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes face an uncertain futue at Barcelona after failing to impress Ernesto Valverde last season.
To make matters worse, Ivan Rakitic is also being linked with a move away from Camp Nou. If some or all of these transfers happen, then Ernesto Valverde would inevitably need to bolster his squad to become one of the genuine Champions League contenders next season, making Verratti a viable target.
Furthermore, the 25-year-old’s arrival will fortify Valverde’s midfield options considerably, with Arthur Melo already arriving at the Nou Camp this summer. The big stumbling block though, in Barcelona’s pursuit of Verratti is the sour relationship they share with PSG. Les Parisiens have almost always blocked a move to Camp Nou for the Italian international, and a similar fate could ensure this summer.
However, reports of Verratti’s relationships with Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Thomas Tuchel breaking down do give Barcelona hope, and we could see the move come to fruition. With Mino Raiola seeking greener pastures for his client, a Barcelona deal may just finally happen.