Marco Verratti has slammed suggestions he has had a bust-up with Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery.
The Italy international has been linked with a move away from Parc des Princes in recent weeks after reports of a feud with Emery, following his angry reaction to being substituted in the 0-0 draw with Marseille on September 23.
Verratti’s agent, Donato Di Campli, suggested that media scrutiny on his client could force him to leave France in favour of a possible return to Serie A, with AC Milan, Inter and Juventus all rumoured to be interested.
But Verratti says his representative was exaggerating and insisted his relationship with Emery is absolutely fine.
“This week, people have said many things about me that are not true – things that have not happened,” he wrote in his column for Goal.
“Against Marseille, I took several kicks in the first half, so it was decided at half-time, along with Unai Emery, that we would take a decision 15 minutes into the second period.
“We did not want to take any risks because I’ve come through a very difficult period in terms of injuries and the medical staff wanted to be careful with me.
“So after 15 minutes in the second half, Emery decided to sub me off… and from that moment, everything I have heard, everything I have read and everything I have seen has been about me and that subject.
“It was said that I was angry with the coach because I did not want to leave the pitch. This is not true. I was frustrated with myself because I wanted to help the team out, and to go off because of a physical problem was unthinkable for me. I’m angry because every time I take a kick I have to go off and it is hard to accept.
“With the coach, we saw each other the next day and we could not understand how we could create such a controversy from that.
“When I came out of the game, I put the hand in front of my mouth to say, ‘Coach, I could have continued, I felt good’.
“The coach then replied that he felt I was not going so well. Then I removed my hand and said, ‘He says I am not good’.
“In reality, he was right. Sometimes, even in training, I won’t say if I’ve got some pain so I can continue to play. It’s because I simply want to play, nothing more.
“I hear and read that I don’t have a good relationship with the coach. Again, this is not true. One may not agree with the coach, but one must always respect his choices. And I always would.
“It’s gone too far this week and even my agent exaggerated a bit to say that I could leave the club.
“I’ve always had good relationships with my coaches and that’s the case with Unai Emery.”
PSG are six points behind surprise leaders Nice at the top of Ligue 1, but Verratti insists Emery is not to blame for the club’s mixed results in 2016-17.
“When the results are not there, people start to find problems in the team,” he said. “Everybody respects the coach and I think that we’ve already shown that. Unai Emery works hard and it’s not his fault we have had a mixed start to the season.
“It is us, the players, who are on the field. We must take responsibility!”