Verratti plays down Real Madrid talk

The 20-year-old is among the most coveted midfielders in Europe at the moment, but he says he is focused purely on Italy's Under-21 European Championship campaign in Israel
Marco Verratti says his focus is on winning the Under-21 European Championship with Italy, having been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder is one of the Azzurri's most promising young players and although he has not ruled out a move to los Blancos at the end of the season, he says it is not his number one priority at the moment.

"The Madrid rumours? I'm here to play with the Under-21 side, this only happens once in my life and I'm fully focused on this competition. After the tournament we will see," Verratti told reporters.

also spoke about his coach at PSG, Carlo Ancelotti, who has been strongly linked with taking over at Madrid from Jose Mouinho.

"I can only say that he is a great coach and, to my knowledge, is still PSG coach. If he chooses to go elsewhere that is none of my business," he said.

Verratti joined PSG in July 2012, and after a hugely impressive year with the French champions his reputation has increased greatly.

He has made 39 appearances this season, cementing his place as the playmaker in his side's midfield.