Verratti flattered by Juventus interest

The Bianconeri looked set to sign the highly-rated 20-year-old Italy international last summer but they were pipped to his signature by PSG

Marco Verratti has admitted that Juventus’ reported interest in his services is the source of great pride but reiterated that he is happy at Paris Saint-Germain.

The Italy international seemed certain to leave Pescara for Turin last summer but he instead ended up at the Parc des Princes.

The Bianconeri are said to still be tracking the 20-year-old, though, and Verratti is touched that the club he supported as a child seem intent on signing him.

“The fact that a great club like Juve is looking at me makes me very proud,” the midfielder told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“But, I repeat: I’m very happy here and I have no intention of changing [teams], at least as long as PSG feel that I’m a part of this big project.

“Of course, if I were to leave I’d like to return to a big side in Italy like Juve, but also AC Milan or Inter.

“Although I am, and remain, a Pescara fan, Juve are the club I have supported since I was a child. [Alessandro] Del Piero was my idol!”

Verratti got the chance to play against another of his icons, Xavi, on Wednesday, with PSG having bowed out to Barcelona on away goals thanks to Pedro’s equaliser.

“We were so close,” Verratti lamented. “The result was in the balance right until the end. We contested two beautiful games.

“There has been a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth. But we’re a young team. To go out without losing a game against the best in the world … I am not saying that makes us happy, but satisfied, yes.

“In the dressing room the atmosphere was not the best, but we were aware that we had done our best.”

Veratti also took some consolation out of the way in which he had held his own against some of the finest players on the planet.

“It’s the dream of every child,” he enthused. “I was playing before five or six of my models. Xavi is the one which I’d most like to resemble.”