Paris Saint-Germain have been handed another major piece of bad news, with coach Thomas Tuchel confirming that Marco Verratti picked up a ‘very serious’ ankle injury during the French champions’ 9-0 victory over Guingamp.
The Italy international went down following a challenge with Felix Eboa Eboa early in the first half and had to be helped off the field by medical staff.
Tuchel immediately signalled for substitute Julian Draxler to ready himself and Verratti took his seat on the bench while still deep in conversation with the PSG coaches. Shortly afterwards, he departed down the tunnel clutching his left boot.
PSG players, including Verratti himself, had complained lately of a lack of depth in midfield, with both the Italian and club captain Thiago Silva calling for reinforcements due to centre-back Marquinhos having had to play as a number six.
Elsewhere, Adrien Rabiot has been frozen out of the squad due to squabbles over a contract extension , with several of Europe’s elite, including Barcelona, said to be interested in his services.
Indeed, such are PSG’s midfield issues that Dani Alves had to fill in in midfield during the thumping of Guingamp, with Thilo Kehrer taking over right-back duties.
The loss of Verratti comes as a huge blow to the Parc des Princes side, with a Champions League round of 16 clash against Manchester United coming up in less than a month.
“No good news,” Tuchel said after the match. “He’s seriously injured. It’s the worst thing that could have happened to us.”
Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl and Everton’s Idrissa Gueye have been mooted as targets for Les Parisiens, with Thiago Silva having backed the pair to shine in France should transfers come to fruition.
If neither of those happen, however, a trip to Old Trafford to face a resurgent Manchester United side will be a daunting prospect, with Canal+ having reported that Verratti’s injury was serious enough for him to have been immediately sent to hospital following his substitution.
In the short term, PSG have little to worry about in the French top flight, the latest result having extended their lead at the Ligue 1 summit to 13 points ahead of second-placed Lille.
PSG return to action on Wednesday as they host Strasbourg in the Coupe de France.