Barcelona target Man Utd man as Plan B to Verratti

Date published: Thursday 29th June 2017 10:06

Barcelona have reportedly drawn up two alternative targets if they fail to lure Marco Verratti to the Camp Nou this summer.

Catalan paper Sport report that Barca will turn their attention to Man Utd midfielder Ander Herrrera and Leicester playmaker Riyad Mahrez if they find Verratti to be out of reach.

Italy midfielder Verratti has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona and former PSG sporting director Patrick Kluivert has revealed the 24-year-old is keen on a move to Catalonia.

PSG though are desperate to hold on to the €100million-rated midfield metronome and Sport have suggested that the player may need to go on strike to force the hand of the Ligue 1 giants .

Kluivert, who has left PSG last month after a year in the backroom, last week claimed PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi will not agree to sell Verratti.

“I know the president very well and I also know that Verratti wants to go to Barcelona, but PSG will not let him leave,” he told La Sexta.

“He renewed his contract last year and it will be very difficult [for Barca to sign him].”

As translated by Sport Witness, the publication have almost encouraged Verratti to snub a return to PSG pre-season training on July 4.

They claim a lot will depend on what happens early next month and believe if he is a no-show for training that will underline his desire to join Barcelona. That will in turn encourage Ernesto Valderde to make a firm bid for the player, and if not they will go after Herrera and Mahrez.

Whether Barca are serious about their alternative targets is debatable but United would be reluctant to sell Herrera, who arrived from Athletic Bilbao for £30million in July 2014.

The 27-year-old has developed into a key player for Jose Mourinho and made 50 appearances last season and he is contracted until June 2018.

Mahrez meanwhile, may well be more attainable and is believed to have had a £40million price tag placed on his head. The former PFA Player of the Year is understood to be an alternative target for Arsenal should they fail to follow up their first bid for Thomas Lemar.


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