Chelsea make Marco Verratti their top January target but Paris Saint-Germain want more than £30m
Chelsea have made Marco Verratti a top target and are prepared to test Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain for the midfielder in January.
Roman Abramovich is willing to bankroll Antonio Conte’s push for the Premier League title and Verratti, who played under the Italian in the international team, is wanted.
Marina Granovskaia is Abramovich’s right-hand woman and the director tasked with tackling the transfer window as Chelsea try to deliver the signings that Conte needs to continue his title challenge.
Marco Verratti is a top transfer target for Chelsea ahead of the January window
Paris Saint-Germain are willing to sell the 24-year-old midfielder in the new year
The French champions will ask for more than the £30million Chelsea are currently offering
Insiders have said that Chelsea are confident they can get Verratti, despite the 24-year-old’s deal in France running until 2021.
Chelsea failed to sign Roma’s Radja Nainggolan in the summer but Conte is still keen to add to his midfield, and it comes as Oscar prepares to leave Chelsea for Shanghai SIPG for £52million.
MARCO VERRATTI: CV
Date of birth: November 5, 1992
Clubs: Pescara, Paris Saint-Germain
Honours: Ligue 1 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), Coupe de France (2015, 2016), Coupe de la Ligue (2014, 2015, 2016), Trophee des Champions (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), Serie B (2012)
International caps (Italy): 19
It is understood Chelsea are hopeful that they can get Verratti for less than £40m, though PSG will put up a fight.
Verratti’s agent, Donato Di Campli, told potential suitors in October that the player would be willing to leave PSG if they do not secure silverware this season.
They sit third in Ligue 1 – behind Monaco and Nice – and play Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League next.
Unai Emery, PSG’s manager, is a cup specialist after winning the Europa League with Sevilla three times but beating Barca is a big ask.
PSG have also exited the Champions League four successive times at the quarter-final stage.
They will put up a fight to keep Verratti, with him considered a key player since Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Luiz left for Manchester United and Chelsea respectively.
Speaking previously, Di Campli said: ‘Contracts are made and unmade in three minutes. We’ll see PSG’s aims.
‘Marco is happy to be there but he wants to win something important. He can not stay in a team that does not win.’
Chelsea have won 10 consecutive games in the Premier League and are top by six points.
Verratti tangles with Wylam Cyprien of Nice during a recent Ligue 1 encounter
Source: Daily Mail