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Barcelona cool Verratti interest as PSG stand firm

6:38 PM IST 07/07/17
Marco Verratti
The Camp Nou side have accepted the midfielder will not be allowed to leave the Parc des Princes this summer

Barcelona have cooled their interest in signing Marco Verratti, with PSG adamant that they will not sell the midfielder this summer.

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Barca had been pursuing the Italy international as a potential marquee acquisition this summer, even placing a valuation of €80 million on the 24-year-old.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu believes that the player would "love" to move to Camp Nou, but accepts that a deal is unlikely due to PSG's refusal to hold talks.

"Clubs want to negotiate. Look at Verratti, for instance, a player we're interested in signing, the coaches believe he is good enough to play in Barca's midfield," he told Mundo Deportivo.

"We know that the player would love to come to Barca but when you call PSG and you talk with the president [Nasser Al-Khelaifi], he says that he's not for sale and there is no release clause.

"As such, the president can decide if he feels like negotiating with us or not. In this sense, Spanish football is defenceless. Here, there are release clauses and there, there aren't.

"And outsiders can come and pay and we can't. So for now, we've not sat down with PSG, despite the player's willingness to come to Barca. We must accept it.

"We had it before with Cesc [Fabregas], when Arsenal did not want to hold talks with us for a year. They told us by letter and we had to accept it. 

"If Verratti had a clause, we could go for him. There is no formula. If you don't want to sell something...

"The player has said that he wants to leave but PSG tell him he'll be able to go only when his contract ends."

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Verratti’s agent Donato Di Campli told Corriere Dello Sport this week that he would meet with chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi to discuss the player’s future, but a source close to Al-Khelaifi has denied this to Goal, insisting the club’s sporting director Antero Henrique is in charge of player purchases and sales.