Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti extends contract to 2020
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has once again committed his future to the club by signing a one-year contract extension with the French champions.
Verratti, 23, will now be tied to PSG until the summer of 2020 after extending his deal for a third time since moving to Paris in July 2012.
The Italy international and his agent had both previously indicated that the player was planning to prolong his stay at the club despite being linked with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
"I am very happy to extend my contract with Paris Saint-Germain," Verratti told PSG's website on Monday.
"I would like to thank the club for the confidence they have placed in me since I joined the club.
"I love the city of Paris and I love Paris Saint-Germain. I will continue to give my all, along with my teammates, to bring joy and success to our supporters and make our team the best in Europe."
Barcelona legend Xavi said in December that Verratti would fit in perfectly at his former club, while the Italian sought to play down speculation linking him with Real Madrid.
The impending arrival of former PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti at Bayern Munich also prompted questions about whether the central midfielder would be interested in moving to the German champions.
PSG chairman and CEO Nasser al-Khelaifi said he was delighted that he had secured the future of one of his club's most influential players.
"Marco Verratti is one of the most talented players in Europe," al-Khelaifi said in a statement.
"We are delighted to see that each year this player displays his desire, both to the club and the fans, that he believes in Paris Saint-Germain's project.
"I am very proud and I especially want to express how important it is to have him at our club.
"Marco is an idol of the Parc des Princes public. This strong relationship of confidence that exists between our club and Marco Verratti is set to last for many years to come."
The former Pescara player has featured in 28 Champions League games but an injury has put his involvement in Tuesday's round-of-16 first-leg match against Chelsea in doubt.
PSG manager Laurent Blanc has confirmed that Verratti would only be fit enough to take a place on the bench for the visit of the English club to the Parc des Princes.
Chelsea star Eden Hazard, meanwhile, has told Le Parisien that Verratti is PSG's best player and said his absence from the starting lineup would increase the Premier League champions' hopes of progress.
"His absence would be without doubt good news for us but as a fan of good football I'd like him to play," Hazard said, before joking: "Besides, these past two years he's kicked me a few times. I'd like to show him that I haven't forgotten."
He added: "He controls the midfield -- he does everything. When the team aren't having a great day, he's the guy who takes control of the game and gets things going again."