X

Marco Verratti Given €100M Price Tag Amid Barcelona, Manchester United Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2017

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

Marco Verratti will cost Barcelona or Manchester United at least €100 million to prise him away from Paris Saint-Germain after he reportedly signed an extension at the club. 

According to L'Equipe (h/t Calciomercato), Verratti has put pen to paper on a deal worth €12 million per year at the Parc des Princes that will extend his stay by a year to 2022, but it won't come into effect until 2018 in order for the club to avoid breaching financial fair play regulations.

With news of the deal comes the nine-figure price tag amid "great interest" from Barcelona and United, with the former now said to be priced out of a move for the Italian. For United manager Jose Mourinho it will prove a "hurdle as he sells the Manchester United executives on the importance" of signing Verratti.

The midfielder specialises in dictating play from deep thanks to his exceptional passing rangenot to mention the vision and unerring accuracy to go with it—and intelligent use of the ball.

While it would ultimately prove insufficient thanks to Barcelona's sensational comeback in the second leg, he produced a landmark performance last season to hand PSG a 4-0 lead over the Blaugrana in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, earning plaudits for his efforts:

B/R Football @brfootball

Everyone was appreciating Marco Verratti last night 👏🏼 https://t.co/gNHu4hggiX

Verratti has perhaps flown under the radar somewhat in the French capital this season after the arrival of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in the summer, but he has nevertheless been a consistent presence in the centre.

According to Squawka, the 25-year-old has scored two goals and assisted three in Ligue 1 and the Champions League this term, having created 25 chances in 20 appearances across the two competitions.

He has completed 1,716 passes having maintained an accuracy of 91 per cent, and he has showcased his ability to glide past opponents in midfield having successfully pulled off 28 of his 33 attempted take-ons.

Verratti is more of a controller than a ball-winner, but he has also won 29 tackles and made 24 interceptions.

He'd be a perfect candidate to take Barcelona's midfield back to the level they once enjoyed, as Eurosport UK demonstrated in the summer:

Eurosport UK @Eurosport_UK

Marco Verratti is the missing cog in the Barcelona midfield 👍 ( 🎨 - @ZEZO_CARTOONS ) https://t.co/zzikXWTwOD

The Italian could restore their ability to control and dominate teams, which in turn would somewhat ease their reliance on the likes of Lionel Messi or Luis Suarez to provide individual brilliance to win matches.

Meanwhile, United are also lacking in the centre, per football writer Liam Canning:

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

Every game without Pogba just reinforces how important he is to Manchester United. The over-reliance on him is worrying. José Mourinho has to invest in midfielders.

Michael Carrick is 36 and has played just once this season having had to deal with a heart condition, and there's scope for someone to hold down a position alongside Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.

Verratti would be a superb buy for either club, but prising him away from Les Parisiens will be difficult, all the more so after his reported new deal, so they may be forced to look elsewhere.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.