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Marco Verratti plays down Barcelona Links

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has rebuffed claims he will be joining Barcelona this summer and insisted his future lies in the French capital.

The 25-year-old has long been linked with a Camp Nou switch after establishing himself as one of Europe’s top central midfielders, and recent reports state that the Italian’s agent, Mino Raiola, has held discussions with the Catalonians.

However, while speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, as quoted by Calciomercato, the PSG man rubbished the rumours and asserted his stance that he would be a Les Parisiens player next season.

“I’ve read that Raiola has offered me to Barcelona – it’s false”, he said. “I talked to my managers, they know what I think, things are clear. I have decided to stay at PSG.”

It has been suggested that Paris’ continuous failings in the Champions League could be a contributing factor in any move Verratti makes.

Unai Emery’s outfit were dumped out of the competition for the second successive season by LaLiga opposition in the round of 16, with Real Madrid this time around following in the footsteps of Barça’s victory last year.

However, the Italian was quick to defend his side’s lack of progress, insisting losing Neymar for the second leg with Los Blancos was akin to Blaugrana being without Lionel Messi.

“Real Madrid is a tough opponent, but we were convinced we could progress”, he added. “PSG is not so far behind Real.

“Some details make the difference. We did a lot in the first leg, but still two goals [was the difference] – we also lacked Neymar, which is like taking Messi away from Barcelona.”

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