Chelsea boss Antonio Conte’s favourite midfielder tells club he wants to leave

Midfielder Marco Verratti has held talks with PSG and told the club he wants to secure a transfer this summer, alerting a host of Europe’s biggest clubs to his situation.

According to L’Equipe, the Italian maestro met with new PSG sporting director Antero Henrique last week and informed him of his intention to leave the club.

The former Porto honcho had intended to meet with Verratti in order to get to know him – doing the same with each member of the squad – but was stunned by the midfielder’s transfer request.

Barcelona lead the chase for his signature, and are thought to have already made contact over a potential move, while Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester City all retain an interest.

Antonio Conte has tried to sign Verratti previously, both with Chelsea and Juventus, and rates him as one of the best midfielders in the world thanks to their time together with the Italian national team.

That feeling is mutual, with the 24-year-old previously lauding Conte as the best manager he has worked under.

‘I believe Conte is the best coach I have ever worked with,’ he told Sky Sport Italia in 2015.

‘He is a tactician who really focuses on the details and knows absolutely everything about his opponents.

‘This is why it takes a little while to really understand what he’s asking of us. Having Conte as Coach is a big advantage for all of us in the Italy squad.’

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, however, is a huge fan of Verratti and will do everything possible to convince him to stay at the club.

If his mind cannot be changed, the French giants will demand as much as €80 million (£70.2m), a figure that could be too steep for Barca.

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