Arsenal will have to cough up as much as £40million if they want to sign Manchester United target and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti, according to the Daily Star.
The report claims that Arsene Wenger has been a long-term admirer of the talented playmaker and would be keen on taking him to the Emirates Stadium at some point, but it will not be cheap.
Arsenal’s manager would have to come close to the club’s record signing - £42.4million Mesut Ozil – if they are to lure the 22-year-old away from Parc des Princes and the reigning Ligue 1 champions are under no pressure to sell.
Partly because of the vast riches of their Qatari owners, and partly because Verratti recently signed a new five-year contract. The Italy international has impressed greatly since he moved to Paris from Pescara in 2012 and has been linked with the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United.
He is a talented midfielder who is most comfortable playing in a deep-lying playmaker role, dictating play from the base of the midfield while also providing some protection for the defence. Despite his diminutive frame, he is a combative presence in midfield and is not one to be bullied.
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Defensive midfield is an area that was of some concern for Arsenal until the recent emergence of Francis Coquelin. The young Frenchman has made the position his own with some gritty displays, but he is a limited player and Wenger would do well to further reinforce that area of his squad this summer.