Despite the fact that Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti seems determined to join Barcelona, his club seem just as determined to not let him go.
Sure, Verratti can try to force the move, and Barcelona can offer a hefty sum in exchange. But at the end of the day, PSG do not have to sell. They do not need the money, and the player is under contract.
Verratti can sulk forever, refuse to play, even, and Barcelona can offer Lionel Messi plus the Camp Nou in exchange. It doesn’t matter if PSG says no. The final decision is ultimately in their hands.
And that means that, while Verratti should be Barcelona’s primary target this summer, the club should be completely ready not to get him.
Barça must have alternatives worked out ahead of time, and be sure they can be activated at a moment’s notice. Otherwise, Barça could spend the whole summer chasing a pipe dream and then having to panic-buy at the end.
Robert Fernandez has promised “big names” will be arriving this summer. Barça need reinforcements, and if the money isn’t spent on Verratti, it should be spent on at least a couple players worthy of being called stars No, Inter Milan’s Geoffrey Kondogbia and Guangzhou’s Paulinho do not count.
Other clubs will be working hard to secure top talent, and they will have no interest in waiting around for Barça. That means Barcelona are in a delicate position, and the longer this Verratti drama goes on, the riskier it becomes. It’s a worthwhile risk, but it has to be managed correctly.