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Verratti plays down 'irrelevant' Madrid interest

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti always wanted to remain at the Parc des Princes despite interest from this week's Champions League opponents Real Madrid.

The sides meet at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday with Verratti having been the subject of heavy speculation linking him with a move to the Spanish capital during the close season.

Verratti - under contract at PSG until 2019 - was reportedly of interest to Madrid, although the club stated in June that the rumours were "completely untrue".

The 22-year-old told Canal Football Club: "It is an issue that is irrelevant now.

"It's nice when big teams are interested in you but my priority was always to stay at PSG.

"I am grateful to the club and I'm happy here. I don't see why I would leave."

Having impressed in Ligue 1 since moving from Pescara in 2012, Verratti's future has been the subject of much discussion, with Madrid's La Liga rivals Barcelona also previously credited with an interest.

And, when pressed on his midfield idol, Verratti settled on Barca man Andres Iniesta.

"There are many who are very good, but if I have to choose one I would stay with Iniesta," he added.

"He dazzles me the way he plays, he can do everything. He scores goals and nullifies opponents. He is magical. I love to see him in action."