Barcelona have been intensely linked with Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti this summer, but latest reports claim that the Catalans are all set to end their pursuit of the Italian international.
New manager Ernesto Valverde has signed Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu, and Marlon this term, but is yet to bring in a marquee player, as none of the arrivals have created much excitement at the club, or given them a boost to reclaim the La Liga and Champions League honours from arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona were also linked with Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, but the Catalans find themselves in a tight situation, after the Reds from England rejected their £72m bid this week.
And according to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, there has been a surprise twist in their pursuit of Verratti, as Valverde’s side have shifted their focus on Juventus forward Paulo Dybala instead.
Moreover, the midfielder’s decision to appoint Mino Raiola as his new agent has dampened their hopes of landing the star.
Meanwhile, reports claim that Neymar is seemingly on the brink of joining Paris Saint-Germain for a whopping £196 million. This in turn, would give the Catalans a lot of money, which they could then use to go on a spending spree.
Dybala is said to be the replacement the club is eyeing if Neymar makes a sensational switch to the French club. Valverde could also make another improved bid for Coutinho in order to bolster his side.
Both Dybala and Coutinho have been superb for their respective clubs, and would add firepower to the Copa del Rey winners. But it would be very difficult for Barca to prize away the duo, with both Juventus and Liverpool not seeking to sell.
Written by Rajdeep Saha
Sports journalist with stints across print, digital and television. Contribution to each medium has been thrilling. Experienced in writing for this passionate game called football. Journalist by choice and passion.