Arsenal target Marco Verratti wins 'Best Hope' award - £17m price tag shoots up?

Marco Verratti unveiled by PSG

Arsenal linked Marco Verratti won Ligue One's best young player award.

It was just over a month ago that Arsenal were linked with signing Italian midfielder Marco Verratti. The Guardian were among those to report Arsenal's alleged interest in the PSG ace, with a market value of £17 million touted.

Those more familiar with Verratti's potential and already rapid career progression acknowledged the rumoured fee would be too low to snap up the central midfielder, and their chances may just have been lowered, or his price tag at least increased.

Verratti at the weekend won the prestigious Ligue 1 vote for the best player award, also known as the 'best hope'. He beat off competition from Monaco duo Layvin Kurzawa and the impressive James Rodriguez.

L'Equipe reported Verratti as saying in recognition at receiving the honour: 

"I am very pleased. It is an important recognition, especially since there were other very good young people who were in front of me. I thank my teammates because it is thanks to them that I won. They helped me to show all my value."

The 21-year-old is currently hoping for another piece of good news, a call into Italy's World Cup squad.

But he is not placing all his hopes on assuming he will win a place, stating at the weekend: "If this is not the case, I will continue to work for further progress."

Verratti would certainly be a fine defensive midfield addition to Arsenal, but there is a concern his lightweight frame may not lend himself to the Premier League. With his price tag likely to reflect his boost in reputation the award brings, a potential transfer to the Emirates is far from certain, and at this stage looks tricky for the Gunners unless they pay the big money PSG will demand.

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