Barcelona to battle with Real Madrid to sign PSG star Marco Verratti

David Cooper - Writer 11:21 11/02/2018
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The transfer window is heating up and we have our daily transfer gossip column to keep you in the loop.

Here, we look at the top headlines doing the rounds in Europe’s media on Sunday.

REDS IN FOR LEON BAILEY

Liverpool have made the Bayer Leverkusen winger their top summer transfer target and have reportedly ended their interest in signing Monaco star Thomas Lemar. Following the sale of attacker Philippe Coutinho, the Kop club are hoping to bolster their attacking options and have joined the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United in the race to sign the 20-year-old. The Jamaican international, who started his career with Genk in Belgium, is enjoying a stellar campaign with the Bundesliga side having netted 10 goals in all competitions, scaring defenders with his blistering pace.

RATING: 7/10

VERDICT

It won’t be an easy pursuit for the Merseysiders but they are leading the chasing pack to land Bailey. Indeed, the youngster has bags of potential and Liverpool are doing the right thing by identifying his talent early doors. His ability to operate either as a winger or central striker is a real feather in his cap so expect movement on this deal in a few months’ time.

Leverkusen's Jamaican midfielder Leon Bailey (L) and Berlin's Czech midfielder Vladimir Darida vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs Hertha BSC Berlin, in Leverkusen, western Germany, on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Patrik STOLLARZ / RESTRICTIONS: DURING MATCH TIME: DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE TO 15 PICTURES PER MATCH AND FORBID IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO. == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE == FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050 (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

A real handful: Leon Bailey.

BARCA HAVE REAL INTEREST IN MARCO VERRATTI

Barcelona are set to reignite their long-term pursuit of the Paris Saint-Germain hard man at the end of the season. Blaugrana have been keen admirers of the Italian midfielder for some time, while arch rivals Real Madrid have also been tracking the Ligue 1 star. The Spanish giants are hopeful they can banish any ill-feeling between the two clubs following the protracted Neymar deal and secure the 25-year-old’s signature after the conclusion of the World Cup. Verratti fits the bill with Ernesto Valverde looking to build a youthful midfield and ensure veteran Andres Iniesta isn’t overplayed.

RATING: 8/10

VERDICT

The Verratti transfer saga hasn’t really slowed down since the summer and while he is a crucial man for PSG, the central midfielder isn’t expected to pass up the chance of moving to one of the big two in La Liga or indeed the Premier League. His future will definitely be sorted out at the end of the season.

Call and collect: Marco Verratti has several suitors (Getty).

Verratti won’t be playing in the World Cup this summer with Italy.

RED DEVILS CHANCE THEIR ARM WITH ALEX SANDRO PURSUIT

Manchester United and Chelsea will go head-to-head for the Juventus left-back at the end of the campaign, with the Red Devils emerging as the favourites to sign the 27-year-old Brazilian. Sandro has been a key performer for the Turin giants this term, showing his class going forward, as well as defensively. Although the Old Lady would command at least £50m for his services, Jose Mourinho is on the hunt for a new full-back to provide competition for Luke Shaw. The Blues, meanwhile, have struggled defensively this term and are looking for reinforcements regardless of whether or not Antonio Conte stays on as boss.

RATING: 8/10

VERDICT

Sandro is expected to be a big star at the World Cup and will no doubt have no shortage of offers but sources close to the player have suggested he is keen on a move to England, so Mourinho has a firm base in which to start negotiating from.

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