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The curious Verratti-PSG-Barça affair


The Verratti-PSG-Barcelona saga is a curious situation that's worth reflecting upon. The player belongs to PSG, Barça want him, and his agent, Donato Di Campli, is very much up for the deal. Well, of course he is. Any agent who moves a player from one club to another pockets a healthy wad of cash. However, PSG don't want to sell him - simply because they don't want to. And they're well within their rights. If you're happy with your motorbike, you don't sell it and that's all there is to it. A hacked-off Di Campli has responded by talking a lot of nonsense, accusing the emir of Qatar (PSG are backed by Qatari money) of holding Verratti prisoner. The player has had to come out and majorly distance himself from the comments.

Verratti has released a statement saying Di Campli's comments were "not my thinking".
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Verratti has released a statement saying Di Campli's comments were "not my thinking".FRANCK FIFEAFP

Di Campli's words are completely out of proportion

Agents earn money by moving around the players who've entrusted them with their careers by signing with them. That can lead to second-rate wheeler-dealers having in their hands the professional lives of youngsters with a real gift for football - having been in the right place at the right time to get their signature - and not always managing them scrupulously. This is a clear example; and by no means the only one. Verratti may well be better off at Barça, who are a bigger club, have Leo Messi, and could use his class on the ball in midfield. But he's not being held prisoner by anyone. He lives in Paris, picks up a great salary and is a cornerstone of a project with a bright future. His agent's remarks are disproportionate and unjustified.

I liked Verratti's reaction to Di Campli's comments

Footballers are young lads with a talent for the beautiful game. Their careers are controlled by characters who are usually much older, and from whom one ought to be able to expect good sense. But that's not always the case. Guided by their greed, they can take their clients down dangerous paths, leaving them at odds with their clubs or the tax office, and, save for rare, honourable exceptions, treating them as goods with which to make themselves a tidy profit. Now, with PSG refusing to let Verratti go, we've seen Di Campli show himself up massively. But I liked the player's response, which more or less amounted to him saying: "That's enough. If you can't sort me out a transfer to Barça, at least don't leave me in the s**t with PSG."