Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has revealed that he rejected a move to Juventus in 2012 as he wanted to be playing first-team football.
The Italy international, 20, and has been able to tie down a first-team spot in Laurent Blanc’s starting XI and is tipped to be a major Azzurri star in the future, with Andrea Pirlo comparisons often bandied about.
Verratti left Pescara for PSG last summer and was a hit in his debut season in Ligue 1, causing suggestions he might return to Serie A with the likes of Juve or AC Milan, but he says that he turned down a move to the Bianconeri the prior summer as he wanted to be more than a squad player.
"It’s true I was very close to joining Juventus," he told Radio Deejay.
"But I wanted to play and not be a reserve. At that point I decided to stay at Pescara, but then PSG came and promised me an important role within the team, so I agreed a move to France."
The midfielder is now a key member of les Parisiens and believes that the influence of his team-mates is helping him to improve both his football and his attitude on the pitch.
"There are more experienced players at PSG who almost act as my teachers," Verratti added. "We are a good group, both on and off the field.
"I received far too many yellow cards last season, but I have calmed down and learn to control myself."
Verratti has made seven appearances this season, providing two assists in the process as PSG aim to retain the Ligue 1 title.