A return to Italy in the cards for Marco Verratti?

Ian Walton

A return to Italy could be in the offing for Paris Saint-Germain's young midfielder Marco Verratti, with Fiorentina, Napoli and Juventus linked of late.

Marco Verratti made his move to Paris Saint-Germain from Pescara last summer, despite having never made an appearance in Serie A. However, if rumours are to be believed, that could be about to change. Fiorentina, Napoli and Juventus have been linked to the midfielder, though whether the Ligue 1 champions are willing to let him leave is another matter.

Verratti only started 23 of PSG's 38 league games last season, but it's worth remembering he's still only 20 years old. There have been concerns about his lack of defensive contribution, yet his playmaking from deep would make him a valuable asset for any club willing to accommodate him in midfield.

Fiorentina have reportedly been one of those clubs, though given their midfield is bursting at the seams with playmakers -- and with no high-profile departures imminent -- a move to Florence doesn't seem too likely. Napoli's interest has seemed more concrete, with Verratti's agent quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport as describing a "monstrous offer" from the partenopei.

Napoli have definitely been willing to splash the cash this transfer window, with president Aurelio Di Laurentiis offering up some €80 million worth of welcome gifts for new coach Rafael Benítez. They don't have a pure playmaker in their midfield, meaning Verratti could slot in easier than at Fiorentina, though their advances have so far been rejected.

Finally, Scudetto holders Juventus have been linked, but so good is their midfield trio of Pirlo, Marchisio and Vidal, Verratti would be least likely to break into the starting eleven here than anywhere else. Yet, with Pirlo -- perhaps the player to whom Verratti is most comparable -- now 34, signing Verratti as a long-term replacement makes perfect sense. However, with Verratti still having four years to run on his contract, a move looks pretty unlikely at the moment.

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