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The former Italy international has praised the midfielder's technical qualities and says the physical nature of Ligue 1 football has made it more difficult for him to adapt

Former AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini has described Marco Verratti as "essential" to Paris Saint-Germain.

Verratti, who has made over 50 appearances since joining the capital outfit from Pescara in 2012, has failed the find the net for the French champions this season and has repeatedly been linked with a move to clubs including Juventus and Real Madrid this term.

Maldini, however, insists that Verratti has contributed greatly to PSG's title defence and has praised him for his positive attitude and technique in a physically-demanding French top flight.

"He is a very young player with a lot of personality," the former Italy international said in an interview with beIN Sport.

"He is playing in a difficult league - especially for him - as Ligue 1 is physically demanding and this is not his greatest asset.

"However with his technique and personality, he is an essential player to a team that wants to win the title."

PSG, who have collected 83 points from 35 games, can seal the Ligue 1 title with victory over Rennes on Wednesday.