José Mourinho may have spent much of this week publicly declaring that England can win the World Cup but he has, apparently, also found some time to begin planning for next season.
Diogo Dalot and Fred have already arrived at Old Trafford this summer, yet the club’s transfer business appears far from done. Mourinho wants at least two more signings to be completed before his squad reconvenes next month, and widespread reports suggest that one of them could be a bonafide superstar.
Italy’s failure to qualify means that Marco Verratti will not be lighting up the now-underway World Cup in Russia this summer, but it’s believed that the chances of him doing so in next season’s Premier League are high. United are preparing a bid, Paris Saint-Germain are willing to sell and the man himself is very, very interested in making the move.
Despite being a huge name in his own right, Verratti slid down the pecking order in the French capital last season. When looking at his stats in Ligue 1, however, that begins to look like a questionable call from their now-departed manager Unai Emery:
|CLUB Paris Saint-Germain||AGE 25Y 7M|
|POS MID||HEIGHT 5FT 5IN|
Avg Goal for
Avg Goals against
Mins per goal for
Mins per goal against
Shots for per game
Points per game
Ligue 1 is, internationally, regarded as something of a walk in the park for the galacticos of PSG, yet their assembled stars struggled somewhat in the 16 games in which Verratti wasn’t by their side.
Average goals per game dropped while average goals against rose, highlighting just how much of an influence the diminutive Italian is capable of having at both ends of the pitch from a midfield role.
More significant, however, was the team’s win ratio. 82% of games in which Verratti played a part were won, while just 69% of games without him ended in victory. In a league lacking in competition as much as Ligue 1, that’s a truly significant drop.
Players from the highest echelons of the game rarely become available at a reasonable price but, with PSG’s financial activities still under the UEFA microscope, a relative bargain could be on the cards here. United would be getting a fine player if they can get the deal over the line, and the club’s hierarchy would be well advised to move fast to make it a reality.
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