Manchester United are reportedly contemplating a shock move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti, who has been heavily linked with a move to Saudi club Al-Ahli.
Paris Saint-Germain have made the experienced midfielder available for sale this summer after being told by Luis Campos and Luis Enrique that he is surplus to requirements. Therefore, finding a new club is a priority for the Italy international. He was left out of PSG’s squad to face Toulouse on Saturday as the midfielder is understood to be in talks with Al-Ahli.
According to French newspaper L’Equipe (h/t The Daily Mirror), Erik ten Hag has given Manchester United the green light to make a move for Marco Verratti, but they will face competition from other European giants including Bayern Munich.
Al Hilal, who completed the signing of Neymar last week, had agreed personal terms with Verratti in July, but a deal collapsed due to PSG’s €60m (£51m) asking price. Though Al Hilal have withdrawn from the race, Saudi Pro League rivals Al-Ahli have ramped up their interest and believe they can reach an agreement.
Despite talks and hopes of finding an agreement with Al-Ahli, a move to United for Verratti cannot be ruled out entirely before the transfer window slams shut, the report adds.
Marco Verratti to Man United—Should they launch a move?
It is no big secret that Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag wants to add a new midfielder to his squad. Wolves cut through his Man United side multiple times in the opening game of the season before Tottenham easily dominated the middle of the park in the 2-0 win in the weekend.
The midfield trio of Bruno Fernandes, Casemiro and Mason Mount just hasn’t worked yet and a controlling midfielder is desperately needed at the club. The Red Devils have been interested in bringing in Fiorentina star Sofyan Amrabat to bolster their midfield options, but the wait for a deal continues.
Now, Man United have been offered the chance to make a late move for PSG’s Marco Verratti. Since arriving from Pescara in 2012, Verratti has enjoyed 11 trophy-laden years in France. However, he is now surplus to requirements under the new management and the central midfielder is certain to leave Parc des Princes this summer.
At 30 years of age, Verratti still has a few years left to offer at the highest level and can offer his valuable experience and leadership skills to any European club he joins. The Italian’s technical ability, reading of the game and positional awareness would make him a perfect fit in Ten Hag’s system, as United would benefit from having a natural controlling and ball-carrying midfielder to operate beside Casemiro in the double pivot.
However, Verratti’s injury record is far from encouraging, having never once finished a season at PSG with more than 30 Ligue 1 starts. That kind of fitness issue does not bode well for a player who will turn 31 in November, and as PSG are reportedly demanding around €60m for their star midfielder, Ten Hag would perhaps be better off looking elsewhere.
Thus, United must not table a bid for Marco Verratti and instead go for a younger player to fix their problems in the middle of the park.