MX23RW : Thursday, December 13 18:35:28

Marco Verratti reveals reason behind Barcelona snub

Verratti reveals reason for Barca snub
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Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti reveals that he turned down the chance to move to Barcelona after being reassured about the French club's ambitions.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has revealed that he turned down the chance to move to Barcelona after being reassured about the French club's ambitions.

Verratti was heavily linked with a move away from the Parc des Princes during the summer and seemed set for a big-money switch to Barcelona after his agent claimed that he was being treated like a "prisoner" at the club.

PSG went on to sign Neymar and Kylian Mbappe later in the summer and have set the early pace domestically and in the Champions League, although Verratti insists that those blockbuster incomings did not affect his decision to stay.

"I'm honest, for the first time in five years I wondered if I should stay here. People think that I play for PSG for the money, but I could get that elsewhere, too. If I had moved in the summer, there were clubs ready to pay €100m (£89.3m) to sign me and I would have earned a lot more," he told L'Equipe.

"Neymar, he could have earned as much with Manchester City or Chelsea. He didn't sign here for the money but the project. It's the same with me. It was really complicated. I didn't expect a summer like that. A lot of things happened that I did not like, among them people from my side. They thought of themselves and not me. I never told PSG: 'I want to leave.'

"The only thing I did was explain to them some things I didn't understand. We went through some complicated times last season. We didn't live up to ourselves as a team that wants to win everything. We were asked to win everything and there were others a lot stronger than us. I wasn't sure if we were a team with very big ambitions.

"When new sporting director Antero Henrique arrived, the first thing I did was shorten my holidays to speak to him. As soon as we had our first talk, I told him: 'It's good, I'll stay here.' I didn't stay because Neymar and Mbappe arrived – at that time I didn't even know they were going to sign."

PSG, who face fierce rivals Marseille on Sunday, have won 12 and lost none of their 13 matches across all competitions so far this season.


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Neymar is unveiled as a Paris Saint-Germain player on August 4, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona1594241192231
2Sevilla1584327161128
3Atletico MadridAtletico1577121101128
4Real Madrid158252319426
5AlavesAlaves157351817124
6Levante156452725222
7Real Betis156451617-122
8Getafe155641612421
9GironaGirona155641717021
10Espanyol156361720-321
11Celta Vigo155552824420
12Real Valladolid155551315-220
13Real Sociedad155461818019
14EibarEibar155461923-419
15Valencia153931212018
16Leganes154561519-417
17Villarreal153571519-414
18Athletic Bilbao152851523-814
19Rayo Vallecano152491530-1510
20Huesca1514101230-187

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