If there is an area of the Barcelona squad which arguably needs addressing for the long-term future, it has to be their midfield.
While Andres Iniesta will turn 34 later this year, the likes of Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Paulinho are all closing in on the 30 mark as there are question marks over the long-term plan in that department.
As a result, it would come as no surprise if the Catalan giants were being linked with midfield targets, but according to Diario Gol, as re-reported by The Express, Lionel Messi has no interest in Paris Saint-Germain ace Marco Verratti being the solution after he snubbed Barcelona last summer.
The 25-year-old is arguably the ideal fit for Barcelona. He still has a long career ahead of him, possesses great vision and technical quality to go with his passing range and so would seemingly compliment the culture and style that exists at the Nou Camp.
In turn, it would seem like a mistake to snub the Italian international, but that’s what Diario Gol claim is the situation with Messi not impressed with his decision to stay at PSG last summer.
Further, the report suggests that Barcelona’s loss could be Real Madrid’s gain as they could swoop for Verratti instead as they have a similar problem in their current squad.
Luka Modric will turn 33 in September, and while the Croatian international continues to be a joy to watch at times with his ability to run a game in midfield and set the tempo for Los Blancos, he can’t do it forever as it’ll surely start to catch up with him.
As a result, there’s a solid argument to suggest that Verratti can step in and fill that void, provided that Madrid are keen on signing him.
With over 300 career appearances under his belt coupled with four Ligue 1 titles and a whole host of other domestic trophies, Verratti knows what it takes to win. While PSG have continued to fall short in Europe, perhaps such a move to Spain would allow him to fulfil his ambitions in the Champions League too.