Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has admitted he “considered” a move to Barcelona in 2016, before rejecting a switch to stay in France.
The Italy international joined PSG in 2012 from boyhood club Pescara and has since played a prominent role in the heart of midfield for the French giants.
How close was Verratti to signing for Barca? Five things to know…
- Verratti joined PSG from Pescara in 2012 for a fee in the region of €12m.
- Barcelona needed central midfielders in 2016 following the departure of Xavi and the ageing legs of Iniesta.
- It is believed Barca offered PSG around €100m for Verratti’s signature.
- However, Verratti rejected the offer, despite telling L’Equipe in 2017 that Barca offered him more money.
- The Italian has now revealed how he “considered” the offer from Barca.
In the summer of 2016 Barcelona were in need of midfield reinforcements, with Xavi having left the previous campaign and Andres Iniesta very much in the twilight years of his career.
As such, the Catalonian powerhouse turned their attention to Verratti, and while the diminutive metronome “considered” the offer, then-manager Luis Enrique was ultimately unable to get his hands on the Italy international.
“It’s true that something different was proposed and I think it was only normal for me to consider it for a little while,” he told L’Equipe and RMC Sport.
Instead Barcelona signed Andre Gomes from Valencia, Denis Suarez from Villarreal and promoted Sergi Samper to the first-team.
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Verratti: PSG ambition convinced me to stay
Reflecting on the interest from Barcelona, Verratti says he was convinced to remain at the Parc des Princes following the arrivals of Dani Alves, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
PSG had just conceded the Ligue 1 title to Monaco and once again failed in the Champions League, but Verratti was buoyed by the wave of fresh ambition.
Speaking to L’Equipe in 2017, Verratti said: “I’m honest, for the first time in five years I wondered if I should stay here.
“People think that I play for PSG for the money, but I could get that elsewhere, too. If I had moved in the summer, there were clubs ready to pay €100m to sign me and I would have earned a lot more.
“Neymar, he could have earned as much with Manchester City or Chelsea. He didn’t sign here for the money but the project. It’s the same with me.
“I didn’t expect a summer like that. A lot of things happened that I did not like, among them people from my side.
“They thought of themselves and not me. I never told PSG: ‘I want to leave.’ I wasn’t sure if we were a team with very big ambitions.”
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