Manchester United manager David Moyes has done little to dampen speculation over star arrivals at Old Trafford over the past three days, choosing to watch both Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain in person to help form a more considered view over summer transfer targets.
Moyes got the chance to watch some of European football's most exciting midfielders including the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal, but the Red Devils boss should have spotted the incredible potential of PSG's prodigious young playmaker Marco Verratti.
Verratti is arguably among the gifted players in possession on the continent at the tender age of 21, with an incredible average passing accuracy per match in Ligue 1 reaching 91%.
United are crying out for a midfield option equally comfortable in both halves and not afraid to take responsibility for attempting difficult, potentially game-changing passes in the final third.
Moyes has been thwarted in his attempts to sign established playmakers in the recent past including foiled bids for Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara, but although Verratti would probably cost a whopping £34m would be a long-term investment well worth making.
Italy have already called upon Verratti's considerable talent on four occasions, while the ex-Pescara playmaker also looked nothing short of sensational for the junior Azzurri side during a run to last summer's European Under-21 Championship finals.
The Red Devils could appeal to Verratti's ego to secure a deal, with the chance to become the star man at the Premier League champions and lead a rebuilding project alongside teenage standout Adnan Januzaj surely one to relish.
Verratti is able to link defence and attack in a very different way to the one successfully employed by Michael Carrick in recent years at Old Trafford, able to dribble the ball out from the back under pressure and pick out virtually any pass on the pitch.
Under the right direction Verratti could blossom into one of world's leading midfield schemers, if PSG can be persuaded to part with a player that is consistently linked with a return to Serie A.
Pogba, Vidal and Claudio Marchisio may all rank higher on the wanted list of Red Devils but Verratti is an outrageously-talented starlet still capable of reaching new heights, with an opportunity to secure his services even at an inflated price surely too good to ignore.
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