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Verratti 'not thinking about' leaving PSG amid Juventus & Barcelona links

2:51 PM GMT 13/11/2018
Marco Verratti Paris Saint Germain 2018-19
The Italy international has seen his future called into question on a regular basis in recent years, but he claims to be fully settled in France

Marco Verratti is “not thinking about” leaving Paris Saint-Germain despite sparking ongoing talk of interest from the likes of Juventus and Barcelona.

The 26-year-old has emerged as one of the most sought-after midfielders in world football after making a move to France in 2012.

He has helped to turn PSG in a dominant domestic force and a major player on the European scene.

A return to Italy has been mooted on a regular basis for the Azzurri international, while La Liga giants Barcelona have been long-standing admirers of his destructive talents.

Verratti is, however, settled in Ligue 1 and giving no thought to a big-money transfer, telling reporters while away with his country: “I’m not thinking about changing.

“I don’t care what the press or a journalist says, whether it’s negative or positive. I play for a club, they trust me, and they always show me that.

“I’ve been there for seven years and I’ve never had a problem with the coach, especially in a team which can make big signings every year.

“Since Ibra [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] left I’ve been responsible for more things, I want to keep going and win something important.

“It’s been a difficult week. I messed up [having been caught drink-driving], and you can’t do these things when you represent a big club.

“I apologised and we’ll look forward.”

Having established a reputation as one of Europe’s top talents on his day, Verratti has learned to accept that any dip in form will be scrutinised in minute detail.

That has been the case for club and country over recent seasons, but he is now well adjusted to turning a deaf ear to any detractors.

“It's always like this, when I play well I'm worthy of the Azzurri, when I play less well there are criticisms,” he added.

“At a club you can show what you can do every day, here it’s a bit different. With Italy you live it a month or a month-and-a-half at a time, so it’s difficult.

“Everyone expects a lot from me, but that just means they consider me an important player. My job is to give everything in the middle of the park.”

Roberto Mancini’s Italy squad are currently preparing for a Nations League clash with Portugal and a friendly date with the United States.