Manchester United are reportedly considering a move for Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti – five years after Jose Mourinho turned down a transfer for the midfielder.
Verratti is set to end his 11-year stay in France this summer. PSG have made him available to other teams – Al-Ahli are said to have been in talks to sign the Italian, but other European sides are now thought to be circling.
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Amongst them are United, who are hopeful of signing a new midfielder following the exit of Fred and doubts over the future of McTominay.
Marcel Sabitzer’s loan deal at the club was not renewed this summer, leaving the club light in midfield.
According to a report in L’Equipe, United are interested in the experienced midfielder, saying that despite the talks with Al-Ahli – United cannot be ruled out of a deal.
Verratti’s positional awareness and technical ability makes him highly valued by Red Devils head coach Erik ten Hag.
Bayern Munich are also said to be keen on Verratti, who PSG are moving on as part of their squad renovation this summer which has already seen Lionel Messi, Neymar and Sergio Ramos leave.
Verratti’s agent Rafaela Pimenta has suggested that a move back to his homeland is on the agenda. She said: “Sooner or later an Italian thinks of going home. He [Verratti] always wants to return. I can’t say that this is not the case for him.”
According to the Manchester Evening News, United’s former executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward recommended that the Red Devils sign Verratti and Raphael Varane in the 2018 summer window. Mourinho believed that the duo were out of reach for United so vetoed the moves.
Instead, the Red Devils signed Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk while two years later, Varane became a United player as he joined the club from Real Madrid, and has become a key member of their defence.
Central midfield has been an area of concern for United in recent years with their depth in the position light, they have also been linked with a move for Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat this summer.