In what has already been a spectacularly unpredictable summer transfer window, all of a sudden it looks like Man Utd’s chances of luring Italian international have taken a radical upturn. Just a couple of days ago it was looking as if the wantaway midfielder was about to swap Paris for long term suitors Barcelona. But now it looks increasingly possible that he’ll be playing alongside Paul Pogba next season rather than Andres Iniesta.
This sudden shift in direction stems from Verratti having just disposed of his former agent, Donato Di Campli, and instead becoming the latest star to join super agent Mino Raiola’s stable. Di Campli was dismissed for supposedly spreading rumors that Verratti was desperate to leave PSG – which, curiously enough, may actually appear have been the case.
However, the appointment of Raiola as his new agent is extremely significant. Raiola has a long held association with being the (astonishingly well rewarded) middle man for conducting the Red Devil’s superstar transfer dealings. Over just the past couple of years, he has brokered deals for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan and this season played a key role in negotiating the transfer of Romelu Lukaku for Everton for an eye-watering £75m that may eventually rise to £90m with add-ons.
It’s no secret that Jose Mourinho has long been an admired of the 21 times capped, 24-year-old Italian who cost PSG a relatively modest £12m by today’s standards when he transferred from Pescara back in 2012. The Portuguese boss will have to pay a fair amount more than that to secure the player this summer though, with Verratti valued at around £50/60m – a figure that is small change though to the world’s most profitable club. Wages are also unlikely to be an issue. Verratti currently receives an estimated 6m Euros per season, a sum he can expect to add to considerably should he move to Manchester.
Manchester United most certainly could use a player of Verrattis quality to help support Pogba in the middle of the pitch. Even though he is only five foot five inches, the player has a well-earned reputation for being a tenacious operator and would serve as an ideal long term replacement for Michael Carrick who is likely entering his last season at Old Trafford.
So where does this leave Barcelona? The Catalans aren’t used to playing second fiddle in the transfer market but with the increasing possibility that Brazilian forward Neymar may – coincidentally be moving to PSG in a huge world record transfer – they also aren’t short of the funds to sign the player. Coincidentally it’s worth noting that Raiola has also been involved in plenty of transfers involving Barca too.
So at the moment, it all seems to be a bit of a Mexican standoff. How long will it take until the player makes up his decision? It’s anyone’s guess but chances are this won’t be another saga and a move will occur pretty soon. Both clubs are already busy with their pre-season training and will want to wrap up any significant business sooner rather than later. So don’t get too engrossed in your football online slot machines at Red Flush casino – you may miss the big announcement!