Barcelona Transfer News: Latest on Marco Verratti, Jordi Alba Rumours

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2017

PARIS, FRANCE - APRIL 09:  Marco Verratti of Paris Saint-Germain reacts during warmup before the Ligue 1 match between EA Guingamp and Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes on April 9, 2017 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images )
Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

The agent of Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has dismissed suggestions he has held discussions with Barcelona about a possible move for his client.

According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Italia), representatives for the Italy international met with Barcelona executives to negotiate a transfer for the summer. But Verratti's agent, Donato Di Campli, has denied that was the case.

"A meeting with Barcelona? It's not correct," he said, per Sport. "No, I only went to watch the Champions League game."

Di Campli added "on top of that, I will be going to Monte Carlo for the game between Juventus and Monaco" to save further rumours surfacing.

As noted in the report, Barcelona have long been linked with the PSG star. Here's why so many consider him among the best midfield operators in the game:

Speculation over a possible exit has been fuelled this season due to the midfield struggles of the Blaugrana. Andres Iniesta continues to suffer with injury knocks, Sergio Busquets has not found his best form, while Ivan Rakitic, Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez haven't wholly convinced either.

Barca's midfield has been fractured for long spells of the season.
Barca's midfield has been fractured for long spells of the season.Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Verratti, meanwhile, continues to go from strength to strength in the French capital and is the kind of playmaker who would make a huge difference at the Camp Nou if the move was to happen.

David Cartlidge of beIN Sports feels as though the Italian would help eradicate plenty of Barca's problems in this area of the field:

The issue for Barcelona would be convincing PSG to sell. The French champions have ambitions to challenge for the UEFA Champions League themselves and are seeking to build a team capable of doing so. Losing their midfield linchpin would be a massive setback in their progression.

It means Barcelona would have to part with an extraordinary amount of money to get this one done. Given the problems the team are having in the middle third of the pitch, they may not have a choice.

Jordi Alba Not for Sale

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 19:  Jordi Alba of FC Barcelona is tackled by Dani Alves of Juventus during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between FC Barcelona and Juventus at Camp Nou on April 19, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by C
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

According to Sport, Barcelona will not cash in on Jordi Alba this summer despite talk of a potential exit.

The report suggested Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Valencia have all been tipped as possible suitors for the left-back, who was left on the bench for a spell recently when the Blaugrana utilised a 3-4-3 system.

"However, Barca wanted to cut off those stories at the roots, killing the speculation and confirming that they have no intention of selling Alba or including him in any potential deal," Sport noted.

Barcelona's defender Jordi Alba gestures during the Spanish league Clasico football match Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / OSCAR DEL POZO        (Photo credit should read OSCAR DEL

That's not a great surprise, as the Spain international has been key to Barcelona's success in recent seasons. Indeed, as noted by Radio City's David Downie during the recent 3-2 win over Real Madrid, Alba offers an incomparable thrust going forward:

The 28-year-old is inconsistent at times, meaning he's often maligned by Blaugrana supporters. But his ability to surge into the final third, recover position and link up with Neymar makes him a key man.

Following on from his recent stint out of the team, Alba has started all of Barcelona's last three matches and performed well in the brilliant Clasico victory. If he were to move on this summer, it would be tough to find another left-back capable of replicating his influence.