Italian midfielder Marco Verratti has recently been linked with interest from Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, according to the Express, with suggestions it will take an offer of around £40 million to land him from Paris Saint Germain this summer.
Widely considered the heir apparent to the midfield throne of Andrea Pirlo for Italy, the 22-year-old PSG star is rapidly building himself a great reputation, inevitably leading to other clubs coveting his highly valued services.
Never one to miss an opportunity to jump on the bandwagon, pseudo-celebrity François Gallardo, supposed FIFA agent (albeit without any proof) and panellist on sensational Spanish football show, 'El Chiringuito de Jugones', has offered his view on where Verratti will be headed this summer...
"Real Madrid have stepped things up a gear, making a firm and important offer to Paris Saint Germain for Verratti. We're talking about a bid of €45 million. The player will be a welcome addition to the team and also to Ancelotti, who really likes him."
Speculation that Ancelotti is keen to work with Verratti once more, is nothing new, given the midfielder has often been linked with Real Madrid, ever since the Italian coach traded his PSG role at Parc des Princes, for the hot-seat at the Santiago Bernabéu.
This seems to be the foundation on which Gallardo spins his latest 'exclusive' transfer yarn, insisting: "It's true! Ancelotti has specifically asked for Verratti, because he was delighted with the player at PSG. Also, he'll be needed (at Real Madrid) because Khedira is going and so that Illarramendi can leave. Lucas Silva isn't going to be a regular starter. Verratti is a battler on the pitch."
Whilst it's always possible Real Madrid may retain a certain level of interest in Verratti as a future target, Gallardo isn't regarded as being the most reliable of sources, often crafting sensational gossip and making outlandish claims regarding player moves, literally, to keep the audience of football shows hooked. His main angle is usually to craft a perfectly valid reason, enticing viewers to ponder what he claims, even if they don't believe his story.
Nonetheless, the future of Verratti at PSG will likely remain one to ponder, given the continued reports about his future, although the player himself seems entirely settled and happy at the French club. Although reportedly "flattered" by the interest from "great teams" such as those rumoured, he insisted in a press conference with Italy: "The present for me is Paris and I'm delighted with the trust I'm being given."