Manchester United and Chelsea have received a boost via the recent comments from Marco Verratti’s agent, as The Daily Mirror suggests the Italian is unhappy at Paris Saint-Germain.
24-year-old Verratti is one of the finest young midfielders within world football and interest from top clubs, including that of Barcelona, is likely to be high. Now, Verratti’s agent Donato di Campli has handed any interested party a boost in the quest for his client’s services.
“The situation is very complicated – he has a very good contract until 2021. He wants to win and PSG, like it is, cannot win. He has been in Paris for five years now and he has to make a decision: earn a lot and not win or earn and become a champion.”
“It is not a problem of money. Whoever signs Verratti will pay him a lot of money. One thing is certain: if he leaves PSG, it will be for a top European club. There are some top Italian clubs but I have my doubts Italy will be his final destination. Spain, the Premier League or the Bundesliga? A top European club.”
Both Chelsea and Manchester United already have a wealth of talent in midfield but Verratti would be a significant addition, though it begs the question of where he’d be the best fit. Here, we’ve taken a look.
Which style works best?
Manchester United and Chelsea both have contrasting styles under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, with the latter adopting a three-man defence and utilising wing-backs; which means the midfield duo, which this season has largely consisted of N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic, needs to be solid defensively.
United, on the other hand, usually adopt a flat back-four but their shape doesn’t have too much space for another creative midfielder, with Paul Pogba playing further forward whilst Ander Herrera or Michael Carrick sweeps up the danger.
If Verratti were to arrive at either Premier League side, he’d need to be strong defensively to fit into the current set-up; although there is a chance that the tactics could be tweaked if his future does lie in England.
Is Verratti defensively strong?
Squawka statistics show Verratti can hold his own defensively but there is certainly work to be done, with the concerning aspect showing the Italian international has picked up five yellow cards this season and committed a hefty 26 fouls.
On a more positive note, 45 successful tackles and 15 interceptions make for good reading but winning three aerial duels show’s he’s not quite suited to a defensive role. Clearly, he’s better in attack than he is in a deeper role.
With that being the case, Chelsea seems to be an incredibly unlikely destination with Antonio Conte’s current tactics but the Italian link could work. Meanwhile, United would equally have to adjust their set-up.
Looking at it this way, Barcelona would probably be the best fit for Verratti and he’d certainly be a top-quality successor to Andres Iniesta in the Catalan side’s ranks.