Italy midfielder Marco Verratti is “not thinking about” leaving Paris Saint-Germain, and confirms Sandro Tonali “reminds me of myself a bit”.
The 26-year-old has been in France since 2012, during which time he’s been linked with Barcelona and Juventus, among others.
“I’m not thinking about changing,” Verratti shrugged in today’s Press conference.
“I don’t care what the Press or a journalist says, whether it’s negative or positive. I play for a club, they trust me, and they always show me that.
“I’ve been there for seven years and I’ve never had a problem with the Coach, especially in a team which can make big signings every year.
“Since Ibra [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] left I’ve been responsible for more things, I want to keep going and win something important.
“It’s been a difficult week. I messed up [Verratti was caught drink-driving], and you can’t do these things when you represent a big club.
“I apologised and we’ll look forward.”
Some have suggested that Verratti hasn’t produced his best form for his country.
“It's always like this, when I play well I'm worthy of the Azzurri, when I play less well there are criticisms.
“At a club you can show what you can do every day, here it’s a bit different. With Italy you live it a month or a month-and-a-half at a time, so it’s difficult.
“Everyone expects a lot from me, but that just means they consider me an important player. My job is to give everything in the middle of the park.”
Verratti was considered the heir to Andrea Pirlo when he first broke through, and another to bear that tag is Sandro Tonali, who has been called-up for the first time.
“I haven’t talked to him yet, but to get to the national team you must have quality,” Verratti said.
“He reminds me of myself a bit, because I was in Serie B for my first call-ups. It’s a great thing for him, not everyone gets to play for the national team.
“He’ll definitely be happy and bring enthusiasm, which we need.”