Liverpool star Barca’s Verratti backup

Barcelona have put their interest of Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho on hold while they pursue Marco Verratti, says a report in Spain.

According to Diario Sport, the Blaugrana met with the Brazilian player’s representatives last week to inform them of their intentions – with negotiations with the 25-year-old restarting should their attempts to sign Verratti fail.

The Catalan media outlet last month stated Coutinho had made it clear to Barca that he would be keen on moving to the club this summer, while officials at the Camp Nou believe he could be a long-term replacement to Andres Iniesta.

The report concludes that Paris Saint-Germain also hold an interested in the former Inter playmaker, but a move to Ernesto Valverde’s side is his only interest.

Should Barca’s move for the Italian midfielder Verratti fail, the club are likely to intensify their talks with Coutinho.