Marco Verratti
Verratti has admitted for the first time he was tempted to join Barcelona. Getty Images


  • Italy international admits he considered leaving the French capital for the first time last summer.
  • Clubs were ready to pay €100m to sign him, Verratti claims.
  • But talks with new sporting director Antero Henrique swung his decision.

Marco Verratti admits he did consider joining Barcelona in the summer but that a meeting with Paris Saint-Germain's sporting director Antero Henrique swung his decision.

The Italy international was reportedly identified as Barca's chief target in the summer transfer window, but in a development typical of the Catalans' operations during the off-season they failed to acquire his services.

Barcelona have since confirmed they did pursue Verratti but the 24-year-old ended up joining a list of players including Philippe Coutinho and Jean Michael Seri to fail to complete a move to the Nou Camp.

Verratti made 43 appearances for PSG last season but concedes that upon Barcelona being linked with his services he considered a move to La Liga. But following a meeting with Henrique - who was appointed as PSG's new sports director in June - he opted to remain in France.

"I'm sincere: this year, for the first time in five years, I wondered if I should continue here," he told L'Equipe. "But I was reassured about the project and the ambitions. Winning something here will always be different from winning elsewhere. I am very good here.

"I did not expect to spend a summer like this. A lot of things happened that I did not like, among others from people at my side. They thought of them and not me. I have never been here to say to PSG: I want to leave.

"When the new sports director (Antero Henrique) arrived, the first thing I did was shorten my holidays and come and explain things to me. As soon as we had our first discussion, I told him, 'It's okay, I'm staying here'. I did not stay because Neymar or Mbappé arrived: at that moment I did not even know they were going to sign.

"Maybe in the future we will sign a new contract. People think I play PSG for the money, but we can take it elsewhere too. If I had gone this summer, in clubs that were ready to put €100m to recruit me, I would have taken a lot more money. Neymar, he could have taken so much in Manchester City or Chelsea. He did not sign here for the money but for the project. It's the same for me."

The failure to secure Verratti's services is a familiar tale for Barcelona from a summer transfer window which was littered with shortcomings. Ernesto Valverde's side missed out on a host of key targets, including Coutinho and Seri, while they lost Neymar to PSG.

They also turned down the chance to sign Kylian Mbappe before he moved to the Ligue 1 giants. The France international agreed to move to the Parc des Princes from Monaco on a season long-loan before completing a permanent move worth €150m next summer.

"Barcelona had Mbappe's signing in their hands when it was known that Neymar was leaving. [They could have signed him] for €120m plus €30m in add-ons," agent Josep Maria Minguella revealed during an interview with Cope.