Lionel Messi & Marco Verratti
Marco Verratti is reportedly the top priority for Ernesto Valverde ahead of the new season. Reuters

Former Barcelona star Eric Abidal has urged the La Liga giants to make every effort to secure the services of reported Chelsea target Marco Verratti from Paris Saint Germain. Meanwhile, the Frenchman believes that his compatriot Ousmane Dembele could also "be a good signing" for Ernesto Valverde's new side ahead of the 2017-2018 campaign.

This week the La Liga giants announced Abidal was to become "an ambassador and representative of the club at different events in the next few years."

The 37-year-old ex-France international is highly respected by the Barcelona faithful following his remarkable spell at the club from 2007-2014, winning fifteen major trophies, including four Ligas and two Champions Leagues.

Last year Abidal encouraged the Catalans to sign Samuel Umititi from Lyon and the advice has paid off, with the centre-back having enjoyed an impressive debut campaign at the Nou Camp.

The former star defender now has also welcomed the reports claiming that the La Liga giants have identified Verratti, the Bourussia Dortmund midfielder Dembele – and as well Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin – as the top three priorities to bolster Ernesto Valverde's new side ahead of the 2017-2018 campaign.

Earlier this week La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the Catalans are ready to make a stunning €100m (£87.5m, $11.8m) bid to convince PSG to part ways with the Italian midfielder.

The prestigious Italian publication added that the 24-year-old midfielder is also likely to join Barcelona but the Catalans could face competition from Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

The price tag would mean a club record signing for Barcelona but Abidal suggests that no matter the cost the Catalans should try to beat the top English and German sides to sign the midfielder.

"I'm sure he has everything to be here. Barça have played many times against PSG and when Verratti did not play you could notice, and when he played you could notice too. He is a top star. [Barcelona] have to sign him no matter what," Abidal said to Mundo Deportivo.

Abidal, meanwhile, would also welcomed his compatriot Dembele at the Nou Camp as a prospect for the future. However, he suggested that Valverde would need to change the classic 4-3-3 formation if the 20-year-old winger finally moves to the La Liga giants.

"He could be a good signing. He is a very young player, very intelligent and very talented but he needs to play regularly and here at Barça is always complicated because it is very difficult to leave one of the member of the trident [Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar] on the bench. But Dembele is in the starting line-up it would be necessary to change the tactics a little bit," Abidal said.

"[I would give Dembele] the same advice I gave Umtiti [last summer to join Barcelona]. This is the best club to keep growing. If he wants to take a step forward he needs to come [to Barcelona]. Then, he has to work because without work nothing is achieved ... and Barça is Barça."