Marco Verratti’s former agent reveals he ‘had an agreement with Juventus’ and initially rejected both PSG and Napoli, then wanted Barcelona in 2017.
The midfielder is hoping to shake off an injury in time to start tonight’s Champions League Round of 16 tie.
He has been with Paris Saint-Germain since leaving Serie B side Pescara in 2012, but this career path was almost very different.
“Napoli had reached an agreement with the Pescara directors in 2012, but Marco turned them down,” former agent Donato Di Campli told L’Equipe.
“He didn’t want to join Paris Saint-Germain either. I had to join in with his friends from Pescara and convince him.
“At the time, he had an agreement with Juve, as he supported the Bianconeri, but the two clubs couldn’t strike a deal between them.
“PSG ended up winning the race because they were prepared to pay the sum that Pescara asked for. They really believed in Marco and Leonardo’s presence was important too.
“The only thing he asked was to be able to still watch Pescara games on television!”
Di Campli and Verratti split in 2017, with the Italy international signing up for agent Mino Raiola instead, during a tumultuous summer.
“Marco wanted to join Barcelona. They were offering a lot of money, but the real reason he wanted to go was to play with Lionel Messi and become a champion rather than just a great player.
“PSG are a big club, but they play in a weak league. I told Marco that if he wanted to become a champion, he needed a change of scenery.
“I have nothing against PSG, but it’s easier to make that step with Bayern Munich, Barcelona or Real Madrid. I was about to go to war for his transfer to Barcelona, but then he pulled back.”
Verratti signed a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain and fired Di Campli to hire Raiola instead.