Marco Verratti ruse
Barcelona got played. Big time. That wasn’t the exact translation of Carlo Ancelotti’s interview with Le Figaro but it may as well have been. The Italian boss spoke about a summer saga that left the Catalan giants red-faced.
He said: “During the summer, many players want to leave, but I don’t know if they really want to leave their club or if they want to improve their contract. Marco Veratti? He wanted to improve his contract. I know him.”
Now Bayern Munich boss, Ancelotti knows Verratti from his time as Paris Saint-Germain manager. Barcelona were after the midfielder in the summer with their desperate chase preceding Neymar’s shock move to the French capital.
For this Verratti revelation to be made by a former Real Madrid manager will be extra painful for Barcelona.
Ancelotti’s comments about players wanting to leave came in the wake of a controversial few weeks at Bayern. Robert Lewandowski’s desire to move to Real Madrid has become public and his days in Bavaria could be numbered.
The Polish hitman has been as brilliant as ever in the opening weeks of the season. The drama off the pitch hasn’t affected Lewandowski, who has scored 11 goals in his first nine games of the campaign.
Bayern travel to Paris to take on PSG in the Champions League this week. It follows a disappointing 2-2 draw with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. Ancelotti gave his assessment of PSG after their summer splurge.
He said: “With Neymar and Mbappé, Paris seeks an identity. At Bayern, it’s already clear. For years, the line of behavior has been traced, the identity is clear, which is not yet the case of PSG.
“But Paris is already at the level of the best. When you buy players at this price and this level, you need time and they have to get into the team mentality. That is their challenge.”