Marco Verratti pens PSG contract
Marco Verratti has finally put pen to paper on his long-awaited contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain after securing the pay increase he had sought.
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After arriving a year ago as a virtual unknown from Pescara, Verratti, 20, developed into a key part of the Ligue 1-winning squad last season, featuring in 27 league matches and nine Champions League fixtures under Carlo Ancelotti.
However, the Italy international felt his €850,000 annual salary, part of the five-year deal he initially signed at the Parc des Princes, did not befit his newly earned status as a first-team regular.
That, however, has now been rectified with Verratti signing a one-year contract extension which does not include a release clause though does triple his wages to between €2.5 million and €3 million.
"Marco Verratti has shown his desire to commit himself long-term to the club," an official statement read. "This contract extension shows PSG's desire to look forward to build one of Europe's biggest clubs."
Linked with a move to Juventus, Fiorentina and Napoli in recent months, Verratti had given his agent, Donato di Campli, a mandate to seek a pay rise from PSG, while both Di Campli and the player himself had insisted his priority was to remain in the French capital.
Meanwhile, Thiago Motta has warned potential new recruits such as Yohan Cabaye that they face ferocious competition for places in the PSG midfield if they make the switch to the Parc des Princes.
Despite claims by the Ligue 1 champions' coach, Laurent Blanc, that PSG were not aiming to strengthen the centre of the park, Newcastle United's Cabaye, 27, is thought to be a priority option for the Ligue 1 champions.
Should the former Lille man, who is also coveted by Arsenal, move from north-east England to the French capital, he would be placed in direct competition with Verratti, France international team-mate Blaise Matuidi and the vastly-experienced Motta, 30, for the two central roles in PSG's 4-4-2.
"If a midfielder comes and he can improve the quality of the team, he'll be welcome," Italian international Motta told the media. "But he should also know that he's going to have to compete with high-level players. It won't be easy for the one coming in because there is already a lot of players and quality in midfield. But it's not my place to judge that. The club's board do their work."
Before making any further additions to their midfield, PSG are hoping to offload Clement Chantome, Mathieu Bodmer and former Liverpool man Momo Sissoko, who have been deemed surplus to Blanc's requirements.