Paris Saint-Germain have continued their spending spree, with the signing of Marco Verratti from Pescara.
The midfielder has put pen to paper on a five-year contract with the Ligue 1 club after the two clubs agreed a reported 12-million-euro deal for the Italy Under-21 international.
“I have an excellent impression of the club, they are great champions,” Verratti told reporters at a press conference.
“There are players here that I have watched on TV and I am very proud to be playing with them.
“I am very happy that (coach Carlo) Ancelotti has put his faith in me.
“I told Pescara that PSG were my first choice. They will eventually become the biggest club in the world.
“Comparisons with Andrea Pirlo? They are flattering and make me happy, he is one of the best creative midfielders in the world.”
The 19-year-old has become the French outfit’s third signing of the summer, following the acquisitions of Ezequiel Lavezzi and Thiago Silva, with president Nasser Al-Khelaifi stating the Italian’s transfer signals the club’s intention to gamble on young talent.
“We are very happy to be here and announce the signing of Verratti,” he said.
“He is young, he is the future of Italy and the future of PSG.
“As we said in the beginning, our strategy is also based on youngsters, not just the big players.
“We are also working on French talent, and hopefully in September we can announce more news about the academy.”
As PSG prepare to re-enter the Champions League, sporting director Leonardo admitted the club’s work in the transfer market puts them on par with Europe’s giants.
“We have players who play for the biggest football clubs in the world, of which Paris Saint-Germain is one,” Leonardo said.
“Shopping in Italy? It is a question of the transfer market. There are players like Mario Balotelli and Davide Santon.
“It is not a matter of shopping in Italy, but a matter related to the transfer market.”