Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has performed a transfer U-turn and apologised to the club, proclaiming his happiness at the Parc des Princes following speculation linking him with a move to Barcelona. Meanwhile, Liverpool are reportedly open to selling Philippe Coutinho on two conditions.
PSG posted footage of an interview with Verratti, who apologised to the club following comments from his agent, Donato Di Campli, who suggested his client was a "prisoner" in Paris, per Italian daily Corriere dello Sport (h/t Marca):
The reverse came after weeks of rumours associating the Italy midfielder with a move to the Camp Nou, not to mention reports that Verratti met with Barca officials in Ibiza last month to hold talks, per Sport (h/t The Sun's Anthony Chapman).
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu even came out to declare Verratti wanted the move himself earlier this week, per Sport, although the public approach now looks to have blown up for the Catalan club:
Verratti, 24, was being touted as an eventual successor for the ageing Andres Iniesta, 33, but PSG are in no rush to sell considering their star's contract runs until 2021.
The saga has been a surprisingly open one for such a high-profile move, but football writer Roy Nemer didn't feel the affair reflected well on either club:
On the inbound list, PSG look to have received a boost in their efforts to sign Liverpool star Coutinho following word the Reds would be willing to sell for €90 million (£79.6 million) and as long as they have a replacement lined up.
That's according to French daily L'Equipe (h/t Get French Football News), although Squawka's Greg Johnson recently outlined Liverpool's priority should be to keep hold of such a unique talent:
Coutinho is described as PSG's "Plan B" alternative to AS Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe, who has been linked with just about all of Europe's heavyweights following a breakout campaign on the French Riviera.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp recently broke the club's transfer record to sign Mohamed Salah from AS Roma, and Bleacher Report's Jack Lusby recently teased the prospects of the new-look attack emerging at Anfield:
The prescribed transfer fee may be a huge one, but it does not look out of place in today's market. The question is whether PSG would be happy paying such a figure for Merseyside's magician.
Borussia Dortmund's French menace Ousmane Dembele is said to have been discussed by the Ligue 1 giants as another option, but they believe Coutinho may be an easier target to lure away from his current setting.