Barcelona reportedly remain interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti but are aware it will be difficult to prise the Italian away from the Parc des Princes.
The Catalan giants attempted to land Verratti in summer 2017, but PSG refused to negotiate. However, the club are still admirers as they believe he would fit perfectly into their midfield, according to Tomas Andreu at Sport.
There is also belief at Barcelona that PSG may look to shake up their squad after their elimination from the UEFA Champions League, but it would still take an "astronomic fee" to sign Verratti.
Verratti was the villain for PSG as they exited Europe's top competition at the hands of Real Madrid on Tuesday. PSG were trailing 1-0 in the second leg when the 25-year-old picked up a second yellow for dissent in the 66th minute.
His dismissal left his side to play out the remainder of the match with 10 men as they slumped to a 5-2 aggregate defeat.
The midfielder's red card does not appear to have gone down well with president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, as he said it killed the game, per ESPN FC's Jonathan Johnson:
Unsurprisingly, Verratti's agent Mino Raiola has defended the player, as shown by Marca:
Verratti's second yellow card was needless and could have been avoided, but PSG were comfortably beaten by Real Madrid over the two legs and still look some way off being able to challenge for Europe's top trophy.
PSG spent heavily in the 2017 summer transfer window, bringing in Neymar and Kylian Mbappe with the aim of winning the Champions League, but their exit at the last-16 stage leaves the club with plenty to ponder.
Coach Unai Emery is expected to depart, per Goal's Robin Bairner:
The club may look to spend again, and Verratti showed against Real Madrid he does not have the right mentality, according to football writer Muhammad Butt:
It remains to be seen if the former Pescara man will be deemed surplus to requirements, but it seems Barcelona are monitoring his situation.
Football commentator Matteo Bonetti said Verratti would succeed in Ernesto Valverde's team:
Matteo Bonetti @TheCalcioGuy
@BaronePepperoni With that said, Verratti would undoubtedly thrive at Barcelona because of the players he’d be lined up against. He’s an incredible talent, but one that has time and time again taken the backseat in the matches that matter most. Whether it’s with Italy or with PSG in the UCL
However, Barcelona have also paid for top talent in the last two transfer windows, bringing in Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, and it's unclear if they would be able to afford another huge signing.