Verratti tells Bayern, Arsenal & Juventus: I want to stay at PSG

The Italian midfielder insists he is “very happy” at Parc des Princes as Laurent Blanc’s men close in on another domestic title

Marco Verratti has told the clubs reported to be chasing his signature this summer that he has no interest in leaving Paris Saint-Germain.

The Italy international has grown into one of the highest-rated central midfielders in world football since signing for the Parisiens three years ago for an estimated €12 million from Serie B side Pescara.

His top performances in 2014-15 have continued to garner interest from the likes of Arsenal, Juventus and Bayern Munich if reports are to be believed, with the Bundesliga champions alleged to be plotting a €30m move at the end of the season for Verratti.

However, the PSG star has warned off bids by insisting he is loving life under Laurent Blanc’s wing, with the club needing just one point from their last two games to retain the Ligue 1 title following Friday’s 6-0 steamrolling of Guingamp.

“I am very happy here,” Verratti told Telefoot. “I have the total confidence of my coach, my team-mates and my club.

“To continue growing as a player, this is the place I want to be.”

In addition to putting PSG supporters’ fears he might depart at ease, Verratti lauded the quality of star forwards Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.

“They are fantastic players,” the 22-year-old added. “We are fortunate to have players of their ability in our team. They can score at any time, which is hugely important to our successes.”

Lyon’s shock 3-0 defeat to Caen on Saturday left Herbert Fournier’s men needing a miracle to leapfrog the holders, who are set to claim their third successive Ligue 1 crown.

In adition, PSG can add to their league and Couple de la Ligue trophies by completing a domestic treble with Coupe de France victory against Auxerre on May 30 at the Stade de France.

Guardiola will join Man City this summer, claims ex-Bayern star Hamann

Reports suggest the former Barcelona boss has agreed a deal with the Premier League side and the ex-Germany international believes a move is likely

Pep Guardiola will be leaving Bayern Munich for Manchester City at the end of the season, according to Dietmar Hamann.

Reports on Saturday began circulating that the former Barcelona boss had verbally agreed to take over from Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium ahead of the 2015-16 campaign.

Guardiola has won back-to-back Bundesliga titles, but the coach is currently in the midst of his worst spell in two years at the Allianz Arena after the Bavarians lost their fourth match in a row against Augsburg this weekend.

Man City, meanwhile, have gone from Premier League contenders at the turn of the year to having to settle for a Champions League qualification spot following a heavy slump in results in 2015.

Barcelona’s 3-0 thrashing of Bayern last Wednesday reinforced rumours Guardiola would call time on his stint in Germany this summer, which Hamann suspects is true despite being sceptical a deal is agreed yet.

“A well-informed source sent me a text message saying that Man City talked to Pep Guardiola two months ago and he said no,” the former Bayern star has told Sky. “In the meantime there are new well-progressed negotiations going on.

“There is nothing signed yet but it is likely – in fact, extremely plausible – that Pep will be at Manchester City next season.”

If Guardiola is to leave Bayern at the end of the campaign, Tuesday’s semi-final second leg against Barca could be his last hurrah in the Champions League with Bayern due to the 2012-13 winners’ three-goal deficit.

Barca won't take Bayern for granted – Luis Enrique

The Bavarians lost their fourth match in a row on Saturday, three days after being battered 3-0 at Camp Nou, but the Catalans’ boss claims his team are far from safe

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has promised not to take Bayern Munich for granted, despite their hot streak being in sharp contrast to their Champions League opponents’ sinking season.

The Bavarians were well-seated for a treble charge towards the end of April but four losses in a row – including a penalty shootout defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal and losing 3-0 at Camp Nou –  have left Pep Guardiola’s men unlikely to add to their Bundesliga crown.

While Bayern had to settle for another defeat at the Allianz Arena against Augsburg on Saturday, Neymar and Pedro fired Barca four points clear at the top of La Liga with a 2-0 triumph over Real Sociedad.

Though treble glory is still very much on the table for Luis Enrique and his players, the coach has refused to entertain any notion that their clash with Bayern on Tuesday will be straightforward.

“Bayern are world-class opponents and we cannot make the mistake of taking our three-goal lead for granted,” he told reporters. “I have no doubt that we will struggle in Munich.”

Barca swept aside David Moyes’ men to secure their 11th win in 12 games and Luis Enrique reserved special praise for Pedro after his fantastic overhead kick goal capped off the victory.

“The game was tough but in general I’d say we played a perfect game,” he added. “Physically, the team is doing well, though I did some rotations to keep players fresh. The best way to defend is for us to have the ball in the opponent’s half.

“Pedro is a player who always helps the team, whether he’s playing or not. It’s difficult for him not to be starting much right now but I’m happy to have him. Pedro’s goal was spectacular – I’ve seen him do that before in training. He’s a top player.”

Guardiola: Barcelona will batter Bayern if we just chase goals

The coach – who suffered a fourth straight loss for the first time in his coaching career on Saturday – pleaded with his players to focus on more than just scoring

Pep Guardiola has warned that Bayern Munich will get hammered by Barcelona if they only focus on scoring goals on Tuesday – the same way they were by Real Madrid last season.

Guardiola took the Bavarians to the Champions League semi-finals in 2013-14 and, after losing the first leg 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu, watched from the sidelines as his charges were mauled 4-0 in an Allianz Arena embarrassment.

Bayern are in an even worse predicament this year, having been beaten 3-0 by Barca last week at Camp Nou, but Guardiola has called on his players to concentrate on playing good football rather than reducing the goal deficit.

“If we only focus on scoring on Tuesday, we will lose in the same way we did in last year’s semi-final decider to Madrid,” the ex-Barca boss told reporters. “We have to stay calm, play our own game and see what happens.”

Bayern had to play 77 minutes against Augsburg on Saturday with 10 men due to Pepe Reina’s red card early on at the Allianz Arena, with Raul Bobadilla punishing the Bundesliga champions by scoring the only goal of the game in a shock 1-0 win.

Guardiola acknowledged that being a man down for most of the match took its toll on his side while pointing the finger of blame at his injury list containing star forwards Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

“Bayern have no wingers left who can attack on the flanks,” the Spaniard, who had never before lost four consecutive matches as a coach, added. “We’re reliant on our full-backs to attack down those avenues.

“It wasn’t easy to play for 80 minutes with 10 men, especially after that 3-0 loss at Barcelona. I’m actually very proud of the players.”

Bayern Munich 0-1 Augsburg: Bobadilla downs 10 man hosts

Pepe Reina’s red card in the early stages gave the visitors the numerical advantage and they were able to capitalise on it with a goal in the 71st minute

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Pepe Reina was sent off as Bayern Munich’s torrid week continued with a 1-0 defeat at home to Augsburg on Saturday.

Raul Bobadilla grabbed the winner for Augsburg to condemn Bayern to their first consecutive Bundesliga defeats in over a year.

Reina made a mockery of coach Pep Guardiola’s decision to rest players ahead of the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona on Tuesday by getting sent off after just 12 minutes at the Allianz Arena. 

The rested Manuel Neuer was hauled off the bench and had a busy afternoon as Augsburg, who missed the penalty that followed Reina’s dismissal, battled their way to a rare result against the Bundesliga champions that keeps them on course for UEFA Europa League qualification.

Guardiola also rested Rafinha, Mehdi Benatia and Xabi Alonso following his side’s 3-0 Champions League capitulation in midweek, with Mitchell Weiser, Dante, and Mario Gotze taking their places.

Bayern’s difficulties began after two minutes, when Dante fouled Bobadilla and he took the free-kick himself, firing a thunderbolt from 20 yards that required a good save from Reina at full stretch to push it out to safety.

The hosts looked startled by Augsburg’s high tempo start to the game, but Bayern were soon creating chances of their own.

Gotze should have done better after he jinked down the left wing, only to fluff his shot from close range.

He almost made amends with a raking shot from the edge of the box that clipped the post as it went wide with Augsburg goalkeeper Marwin Hitz well beaten.

Disaster struck for Bayern after 12 minutes, when a long ball put Bobadilla through one-on-one with Reina, and the Spaniard clumsily bundled him over inside the box, giving the referee no choice but to send him off.

Neuer’s rest from first-team action had been brief, but his first task after coming on for Philipp Lahm was made easier when Paul Verhaegh slammed Augsburg’s spot-kick onto the post.

Bobadilla continued to cause problems for Dante in the Bayern defence, and the striker had a claim for a second penalty waved away by referee Sascha Stegemann when the Brazilian struggled to contain him.

A slip from Dante allowed Halil Altintop a clear chance, but he scuffed it wide with the whole goal to aim at. 

Bayern spurned a golden chance to take the lead on the brink of half-time, but Robert Lewandowski – still sporting a face mask after fracturing his nose and jaw against former club Borussia Dortmund – fired over the crossbar when sent clean through by Jerome Boateng.

An almost identical chance fell to Lewandowski just after the break, but Hitz was alert to the danger and cleared his lines.

Augsburg had the ball in the net on the hour mark when Hong Jeong-ho scored from a corner, only to see Stegemann rule it out for an infringement on Neuer by substitute Tobias Werner.

Hitz then made a brilliant save to keep the scores level as Lewandowski teed up Weiser for a stinging shot at the other end.

The frailties in Bayern’s depleted rearguard were finally exploited after 70 minutes, when substitute Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg broke down the left and played a wonderfully simple pass to Bobadilla, who made no mistake in tucking away his 10th league goal of the season.

The goal prompted Guardiola to send on Rafinha and Claudio Pizarro to try and salvage something from the game, but Augsburg held on for a famous win.