Manchester United linked to Italian starlet


Manchester United could finally have identified a player with the ability and the personality to assume the Roy Keane mantle.  

United have never found a like for like replacement for the Irishman and Michael Carrick despite his  best season for the club has failed to come close to having anything like the same influence as the ITV pundit.

Talksport reports that the club are watching developments in the contract talks of Paris St-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti.

The 20-year-old is currently starring for the Italian team that has progressed to the semi finals of the UEFA European Under-21 Championships in Israel.

He caught the eye with his dominant display against England, not perhaps the most difficult task of his career so far but the performance bore favourable comparisons with Andrea Pirlo.

He has been equally impressive during his debut season in Paris where he was an integral part of the title winning side.

Despite his angelic face and diminutive 5ft 5in frame the youngster shares the same combative strengths as the former United captain.

In 23 starts for PSG in Ligue 1 he was booked 11 times and sent off once. The dismissal against Evian earned a public berating from his manager Carlo Ancelotti as he left the field.

The tempestuous nature of Verratti saw him maintain his disciplinary stats in the Champions League with three bookings in six starts.

Those who watched the game against England game will also have noted the number of times his team mates raced to intercept his dialogue with the referee.

In contrast to Pirlo and in keeping with Keane, Verratti has a fondness for tackling and the capacity to go box to box.

Ancelotti balanced the admonishment of his compatriot by then hailing him as the future of PSG, dismissing the suggestion that he would be sold.

However with the former Milan and Chelsea manager’s own future somewhat in doubt, he may not be the man to decide Verratti’s future.

The player’s agent feels that his client warrants a pay rise and despite having four years left on his contract the uncertainty has apparently alerted United and some of the continents biggest clubs.

Allen Whyte


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