Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has dealt a blow to Barcelona's hopes of signing him this summer, admitting he sees himself still playing for the French giants next season.
Verratti, one of European football's most celebrated midfielders, was heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp after Barcelona's need to rebuild their became becoming more and more evident during the 2016-17 season.
Donato Di Campli, the Italy international's agent, was quoted as saying earlier in May they would hold talks with the club at the end of the season after PSG's appearance in the Coupe de France final. Unai Emery's side secured another piece of silverware in that final against Angers, with the diminutive Italian taking the chance to address his future after the final whistle.
"It's the club that decides, but I think I'll be there [next season]," Verratti said. "Afterwards we will talk with the club like every year.
"I still have four years left on my contract and I'm not thinking about leaving. I am very happy to be a part of this project and I have always said that winning with PSG is different from winning with all the other teams because I have been here for five years and I would really like to win something very important here in Paris."
On Monday (29 May), Barcelona officially confirmed the appointment of new manager Ernesto Valverde on a two-year deal, with the option of a third. The Catalan giants will reportedly have a budget of €135m, a figure that includes projected sales of players this summer, but already Valverde would appear to have suffered two setbacks.
With Verratti seemingly happy to remain in the French capital, another Barcelona target in Manchester United's Ander Herrera now appears set to turn down a move to the Nou Camp.
According to Catalan daily Sport, Valverde had been keen on a reunion with the player he coached at Athletic Bilbao. Those hopes would appear to have been dashed, however, with the Daily Telegraph reporting Herrera has no intention of quitting Old Trafford and is ready to extend his contract at the club.