After spending 11 years in Paris playing at PSG, Marco Verratti is set to bid adieu to the club, embarking on a new chapter in Qatar with Al-Arabi and joining his new club through next week.
While the midfielder has agreed to this move, one can't help but wonder if it's born out of necessity rather than choice, with PSG straight refusing to include the Italy international in their squad and gameday plans for the ongoing season.
The 30-year-old midfielder has ultimately consented to join forces with the Qatari outfit, Al-Arabi, after initially rejecting such a move favoring a transfer to another European side. Considering the lack of interest by said clubs mostly because of his humongous monthly wages exceeding €1.2m, the Italian is now facing an all-or-nothing, back-against-the-wall situation.
PSG stand to earn a substantial transfer fee, likely falling in the range of €40-50m, factoring in various bonuses. This amount, however, falls significantly short of PSG's president Nasser Al-Khelaifi's initial summer valuation of his player, which reportedly reached €100m to be paid by potential suitors in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi clubs never exceeded the €45m mark, effectively slamming the door shut on that market and forcing PSG to wait for another suitor from outside of Europe to come calling, which Al-Arabi eventually did.
Verratti, who is yet to give his final consent and undergo a medical examination, has seemingly reconciled with the Qatari solution, though it takes him away from the European stage he aspired to grace at the age of 30.
Despite pursuing European avenues that remained tantalizingly unexplored, Verratti's determination to maintain his high-level performance delayed his departure to the Gulf, which is now his only viable destination.
After an illustrious eleven-year tenure at PSG, encompassing 416 appearances and winning an astonishing 30 titles, Verratti will leave PSG, France, and Ligue 1 where he stands as the most decorated player with an impressive nine trophies to his name.