New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is set to continue the club’s spending spree by dropping €100 million (£79.5 million, $A152 million) on Paris Saint-Germain and Italy midfielder Marco Verratti, according to Corriere dello Sport.
This would be a joint world record price for a player, matching the €100 million Real Madrid spent on Gareth Bale in 2013.
Verratti, 23, joined PSG in 2012, and has made 105 appearances for the club. He also has 15 caps for Italy, but had to pull out of Euro 2016 due to a groin injury.
He’s noted for being one of the most technically gifted playmakers in the world, known in equal measure for his defensive and attacking sensibilities.
PSG are in a position to command a huge price for Verratti as his contract at the club lasts until 2020, but even with the Parisian team’s wealth €100 million is hard to turn down for a single player.
Reports of Verratti’s potential signing follow the news last week that United purchased Villarreal defender Eric Bailly for £30 million.
If United goes ahead with the Verratti transfer, he could soon be joined by his PSG teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has coyly suggested in press conferences that he is very interested in joining Jose Mourinho’s team at United, and recently stated that news of decision would come “soon.”
Football’s summer transfer frenzy — the period between seasons when clubs all over the world buy and sell players — is already in full gear, with Mourinho’s old club Chelsea reportedly eyeing Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan for £35.5 million.