Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has outlined his desire to see Blaise Matuidi remain at the Parc des Princes amid reported interest from Juventus.
Matuidi has been one of the most consistent performers for PSG and France in recent seasons and reports suggest that Juve have sounded out the midfielder as a replacement for Paul Pogba, who joined Manchester United for a world-record fee this month.
And Verratti, who recently agreed to a new contract that will keep him in Paris until 2021 having himself been linked with a move to Real Madrid, has urged Matuidi to reject any overtures from the Serie A champions.
“He [Matuidi] is a midfielder of international importance that has everything and gives it all,” the Italy international told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“He is physically strong, intelligent, always progressive with the ball. Maybe when a new coach arrives you wonder if he will play, but in the end he still stands. So I think that PSG want to keep him. He’s a friend, I hope he stays.”
After easing to victory in the Trophee des Champions, new head coach Unai Emery enjoyed a 1-0 victory over Bastia in his first Ligue 1 encounter.
Verratti has won 13 trophies – including four league titles – during his time in Paris, but the 23-year-old insists that the best is yet to come, under the former Sevilla coach.
“Emery sees football differently from [Laurent] Blanc. Emery wants us to reach the goal in two phases, playing aggressive football,” Verratti added.
“It’s a style that I like, I hope we can translate quickly on the ground.
“I believe that my renewal until 2021 is a clear signal that I want to continue to grow here and win something important with PSG.
“For two years in France we win everything, so it is difficult to do more. We still lack something that Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona have.
“The Champions League is won on the little details and even with a bit of luck, but we are working to close the gap.”