Monday, 13 June 2016

Football transfer rumours: PSG's Marco Verratti to Manchester United?


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Could PSG’s Marco Verratti be heading for Old Trafford?
Could PSG’s Marco Verratti be heading for Old Trafford? Photograph: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images
José Mourinho must be thanking his lucky stars that Ángel Di María is busy over the other side of the pond, helping Argentina do this, rather than keep Marco Verratti company in Paris this summer. Otherwise, the Italian midfielder may well have sought out the advice of his Argentinian team-mate at PSG, to ask what life is like in Manchester, as the news that one of the city’s clubs, Manchester United, are readying a whopping £79m offer for the former Pescara man, according to reports in Italy.

Since swapping Manchester for Paris, Di María hasn’t exactly waxed lyrical about his former club, yet Verratti, comfortably out of earshot of the left-footed Noodle and absent from his country’s Euro 2016 squad due to a groin injury, may not care that much anyway, particularly when Ed Woodward’s £130,000-a-week offer is reportedly on the table. But then, Verratti is quite the player, isn’t he? You would think that he would rather play in the Champions League with Thiago Silva than play in the Europa League with Marcos Rojo. It’s funny what money will make a man do.

With Laurent Blanc resembling an extra in 28 Days Later, PSG are themselves in the market for a bit of a hot transfer action of the managerial kind, and are poised to move for Unai Emery, who informed Sevilla of his wish to leave the Spanish club after winning a third consecutive Europa League title in May. Jorge Sampaoli is favourite to succeed Emery at Sevilla – the Argentinian has been doing the square root of nothing since resigning as Chile manager in January, but his stock is still high after leading Alexis Sánchez and co to the Copa América last year.

The Leicester Mercury is worrying 0% of its readership with the story that Kasper Schmeichel could be subject to a bid from Everton. But then when the most popular article on their website is about former captain Sep Smith giving horse meat a wide berth in the 1930s, you know it’s been a slow news day.

Slightly more plausible, and no less exciting for Everton fans is the gossip that Graziano Pellè might be bringing his goals, good looks and vintage Bugatti to Merseyside. Ronald Koeman likes the cut of his considerable jib, after the 30-year-old bagged 11 goals and six assists in 30 Premier League last season. Southampton are loath to lose another star asset to Everton but may well wait until Euro 2016 in the hope that Pellè’s stock will rise – Italy kick-off their tournament later today against Belgium.

Another Italian international striker – who didn’t make the cut for France this summer – who is smack bang in the middle of a transfer tussle is Palermo’s Franco Vazquez. Tottenham, AC Milan, Roma and um, West Brom are all in the hunt for the 27-year-old. “I’m in contact with Tottenham for Vazquez and I requested €25 million for him.” said Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini, whilst the player himself admitted that he has a taxi to the airport on standby: “When there will be an agreement I’ll just catch a plane and go to sign. The president does the price. If he does not accept it, then I will stay at Palermo, I have a contract until 2019. I do not think that will happen, however.”

Guardian