Juventus target Marco Verratti has confirmed that he rejected the opportunity to join Milan. “I cried because I wanted to stay at Pescara.”
The playmaker is a transfer target for the Old Lady after his stunning season in Serie B has also led to his surprise inclusion in Italy’s preliminary 32-man Euro 2012 squad.
“I was in Milan and I should have stayed a day more to have a medical,” the 19-year-old, born in Pescara, told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“However, I started to cry and I returned south because I wanted to go back home and break into the Pescara first team.”
Years later, Verratti has done that and his transformation from an attacking midfielder into a deep-lying playmaker has done the rest.
“When Zdenek Zeman asked me to switch roles, it seemed a natural position for me and I thought that it was a role which best suited my characteristics,” he added.
“Comparisons with Andrea Pirlo? He is the best midfielder in Italy, perhaps the world. I always watch him on television in a bid to learn things.
“Playing alongside him next season? That would be fantastic, but we’ll talk about it at the end of the season.”
Verratti has at least one more game left with promotion hopefuls Pescara before he’ll join his new international colleagues.
“I thought that my call-up was a joke at first,” he added. “It still doesn’t seem real now. I’ll look to give Coach Cesare Prandelli some selection troubles…”
Meanwhile, Tuttosport are suggesting that Verratti could inherit Alessandro Del Piero’s No 10 shirt if he moves to Turin.
Pescara and Juve are discussing his transfer, but there is a difference in their evaluations. The Serie B club want €8m, Juve are offering €5m.