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May 26, 2024
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Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti on the verge of Al-Hilal move

Marco Verratti PSG

PSG midfielder Marco Verratti is allegedly close to joining Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal.

Verratti is expected to be the next major star to move to Saudi Arabia this summer, following the likes of Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, and Roberto Firmino.

His PSG colleague Kylian Mbappe, though, is unlikely to follow him in the Gulf state after declining to engage with Al-Hilal authorities after PSG accepted a world-record sum for the forward.

The Italian midfielder played 30 minutes against neighbouring Saudi club Al Nassr in a friendly in Osaka on Tuesday, his first playing time this preseason.

Now, Fabrizio Romano reports that a deal is nearing completion, with only an agreement between the two teams remaining.

The club is said to have offered Verratti a three-year contract and is close to reaching an agreement with PSG.

Despite dealing with injury issues for much of his career, Verratti has always been a fixture for PSG in his 11 years there.

Verratti is an oddity in Italian football history, having had a successful international career despite never playing a minute of Serie A game.

PSG swooped in ahead of Italy’s major teams to capture the combative midfielder after a breakout season at Pescara in Serie B during the 2011-12 season.

Verratti’s departure from Italy has had little effect on his international career, as the 30-year-old has 55 caps for the Azzurri.

Verratti, along with Nicolo Barella and Jorginho, was a key member of Italy’s Euro 2020 winning midfield, appearing in five of seven games and assisting on three goals.

A move away from one of Europe’s top five leagues, on the other hand, could have an impact on his future selection under Roberto Mancini.

Federico Bernadeschi and Lorenzo Insigne have both been dropped from the Azzurri squad since joining Toronto FC in the MLS.

Former internationals Stephan El Shaarawy, Eder, and Graziano Pelle all went to the Chinese Super League a few years ago and experienced the same fate.

If Verratti moves, he will be the first member of the current Italian squad to take advantage of the possibility to play in Saudi Arabia.

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