ee BetOdds24 | Verratti reveals why he passed up ‘last chance’ to leave PSG & commit to new contract

Verratti reveals why he passed up ‘last chance’ to leave PSG & commit to new contract

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BetOdds PSG Ligue 1 UEFA Champions League Saint-Étienne v PSG PSG v Galatasaray Kylian Mbappé Neymar Marco Verratti

The Italy international midfielder has long been linked with moves elsewhere, with Barcelona talk never far away, but he has opted to remain in France

Marco Verratti admits he may have passed up his “last chance to change” by committing to a long-term contract at Paris Saint-Germain, but believes he made the right career call.

The Italy international penned fresh terms with the Ligue 1 champions in October, with his new deal set to take him through to 2024.

He had been generating transfer talk again prior to that agreement being reached, with Barcelona said to have been long-standing admirers of the combative midfielder.

Verratti was aware of the interest being shown in him, but says an extended stay in France was always his preferred option.

The 27-year-old told Gazzetta dello Sport when quizzed on why he opted to prolong a seven-year spell with PSG: “It could have been the last chance to change, but I think winning with PSG is more beautiful.

“I have always said that if I feel good in one place, I don't need to go elsewhere.

“And I'm happy to have signed with [sporting director] Leonardo again, as he brought me here in 2012. With him and his knowledge of football, we can go far.”

While Verratti is going nowhere any time soon, speculation continues to rage around other prominent members of the PSG squad.

Brazil international Neymar and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe are being linked with big-money moves to Spain, at Barcelona and Real Madrid, with the general consensus being that it will be difficult to keep a superstar duo in France.

Neymar pushed hard for a return to Camp Nou over the summer, but Verratti claims the South American remains committed to PSG.

He said: “In these two years he has been unlucky. He got hurt and was missing in crucial moments, but he has the talent and personality to make a difference in big matches. 

“He is recovering his rhythm and I hope he is at his best in February. I see him happy here.”

Verratti added: “Mbappe? He has clear ideas. We have seen him grow incredibly day after day. He has the right mentality to establish himself at the top without getting lost along the way.”

For now, Neymar and Mbappe are being charged with the task of helping PSG to chase down more major honours.

A return to the summit of Ligue 1 has been made, with an ambitious outfit now finally hoping to make their mark in European.

Pressed on whether the presence of world-class talent makes Thomas Tuchel’s side serious contenders, Verratti said: “We are among the favourites, but in the Champions League there are teams with [Lionel] Messi, [Luis] Suarez, [Antoine] Griezmann, [Sergio] Busquets, [Frenkie] de Jong.

“The important thing is to give everything and to have no regrets.”

Verratti and PSG are to come face-to-face with another continental heavyweight on Wednesday when they take in a home date with Turkish giants Galatasaray.


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