Could Ivan Rakitic play a key role in this deal?
Thought you’d heard the last of the Marco Verratti to Barcelona saga? Well think again, because it seems this one still has plenty left to run, with the latest reports claiming a change of approach from Barca.
Instead of simply offering Paris Saint-Germain a huge amount of money for their midfielder, Sport claim Barca could instead offer cash plus a certain Ivan Rakitic.
They even go so far as to say that while PSG want €100m for Verratti, they would also be willing to accept €70m plus Rakitic.
Why Rakitic you ask? Well, Unai Emery is a big fan of the midfielder, having worked with him at Sevilla, and will demand a replacement should Verratti go.
But wait, hang on, according to Sport there’s another important factor in this deal and that’s none other than Kylian Mbappe.
The report claims PSG would only consider selling Verratti if, and this is a huge if, they land the most sought-after player in Europe at the moment, Mbappe.
The Monaco striker is expected to cost €130m, most of which PSG could recoup from selling Verratti, while also getting Rakitic as a replacement.
They also reckon that Rakitic would rather go to PSG on an improved contract, than stay at Camp Nou and sit on the bench while Verratti plays in his place.
All in all it’s a pretty convoluted tale and even Sport concede it would be a “fantastical operation”.
And let’s not forget, Robert Fernandez told reporters only yesterday how there is absolutely nothing doing with regards Verratti at the moment.
“He [Verratti] currently has a contract [with PSG], so there is little I can say,” he told reporters.
“If you want to make something happen with a player who has an ongoing contract then you first need to come to an agreement with his club.”
Could it happen? It still looks highly unlikely at the moment, but then again no-one foresaw Leonardo Bonucci swapping Juventus for AC Milan, so maybe there is still room for optimism on this one.
Is €70m plus Rakitic for Verratti a good deal for Barcelona? Or would a simple €100m offer be better? And do Barca have any chance of bringing Verratti in anyway?We want to know your thoughts!