According to reports in Italy, Barcelona have identified Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti as their key transfer target as they look to replace Xavi Hernandez.
The legendary Spanish midfielder confirmed last week that he will be leaving the Camp Nou this summer following a career’s-worth of glory, and will be moving to Qatari side Al Sadd at the end of the current season.
It won’t be easy for Barca to replace Xavi—both for his on-field role and for the influence that he has had within the dressing room and among his teammates.
According to Ariedo Braida, the sporting director of the Catalonian giants, as reported by Tutto Mercato Web, Italy international Verratti is the club’s player of choice to replace the departing great.
However, Barca will have wait to sign their chief target, as the club have been banned from signing players until 2016, due to sanctions imposed by Fifa.
It remains to be seen whether PSG would be willing to part with their shining young star, while Barcelona may also face competition from Real Madrid, who are also rumoured to be keen on the 22-year-old midfield prodigy.