Marco Verratti Reportedly to Stay at PSG, Barcelona 'Wasting Time' over Transfer

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2017

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 27: Marco Verratti of PSG during the French Cup final (Coupe de France) between Paris Saint-Germain and SCO Angers at Stade de France on May 27, 2017 in Saint-Denis near Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Barcelona are reportedly "wasting time" in their pursuit of Marco Verratti, with the player said to be ready to stay at Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

According to Albert Masnou of Sport, there is no fear from the French club over losing their Italian midfielder in the coming weeks despite interest from the Blaugrana.

In the piece, sources close to the player suggest "Barcelona are wasting time and energy on Verratti." The La Liga side's previous interest in Thiago Silva and Marquinhos is also noted, with the same source adding "the [Verratti] story will have the same ending."

As relayed by Sport Witness, it's been suggested in sections of the Spanish press that Verratti is being kept at PSG despite his wishes:

Sport Witness @Sport_Witness

Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo with a Marco Verratti cartoon today. #PSG #FCB https://t.co/G5FK3wjgqq

For Barcelona, PSG refusing to do business would be a blow, as the 24-year-old has the qualities to resolve a lot of their issues.

After all, for a team who are usually strong in the middle of the park, there were times last season when opponents trampled all over the Blaugrana in that area of the pitch. Andres Iniesta is still a fine player but is becoming injury-prone, while Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Andre Gomes had inconsistent seasons.

As noted by Greg Johnson of Squawka Football, in letting Thiago Alcantara join Bayern Munich in 2013, the Blaugrana look to have let slip a long-term successor to Xavi and Iniesta:

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Greg Johnson @gregianjohnson

So much talk over how Barcelona need a new midfield & who they must buy to rebuild it. Problem is, the player they needed left for Bayern.

With few prospects thrusting their way into contention from La Masia—Carles Alena, 19, is a talent but not quite ready yet—it means Barcelona will need to purchase a player capable of adding some class in central midfield.

Verratti seems like the most natural choice. The former Pescara man is one of the most savvy midfield operators in world football, able to take the ball in tight positions, manufacture space and find a telling pass.

Big concerns emerged about Barcelona's midfield last season.
Big concerns emerged about Barcelona's midfield last season.Clive Rose/Getty Images

They are qualities Barcelona need. While the side does utilise a more direct playing style with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar up top, against the vast majority of opponents, the team have a lot of the ball and need to unlock deep-sitting defences. Verratti would help that process.

One of that attacking trio, Neymar, suggested recently the Italian would be a fine signing for the Catalan giants:

B/R Football @brfootball

Neymar wants Marco Verratti to make the move to Barcelona https://t.co/2NSyuqtpE5

PSG's reluctance to entertain any offers for the player would be both admirable and understandable. Verratti, after all, is arguably the team's most important cog and a man the Ligue 1 side's recruiters would find most difficult to replace. If they want to build, he needs to stay.

Barcelona look as though they are going to have to chase other options this summer as a result. But it's difficult to think of another player in world football who is a better stylistic fit for the Blaugrana than Verratti.

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