Paris Saint-Germain have continued their summer exploits in the transfer market by announcing the signing of Pescara midfielder Marco Verratti.
The 19-year-old midfielder has put pen-to-paper on a five-year contract with PSG after the two clubs concurred on a reported €12 million deal for the Italy Under-21 international.
He was expected to be formally unveiled by the club together with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but it is believed that the Swedish ace's presentation will take place later in the day.
"I have an excellent impression of the club, they are great champions," Verratti told reporters at a press conference. "There are players here that I have watched on TV and I am very proud to be playing with them.
"I am very happy that [coach Carlo] Ancelotti has put his faith in me.
"I told Pescara that PSG were my first choice. They will eventually will become the biggest club in the world.
"Comparisons with Andrea Pirlo? They are flattering and make me happy, he is one of the best creative midfielders in the world."
Verratti, who was part of Cesare Prandelli's 32-man preliminary squad for Euro 2012, broke into Pescara's first team in 2008, at the age of 16.
He has become PSG's third signing of the summer, following in the footsteps of Ezequiel Lavezzi and Thiago Silva, with president Nasser Al-Khelaifi stating that the Italian's transfer signals the club's intention to bet on young talent.
"We are very happy to be here and announce the signing of Verratti," he said. "He is young, he is the future of Italy and the future of PSG.
"As we said in the beginning, our strategy is also based on youngsters, not just the big players.
"We are also working on French talent, and hopefully in September we can announce more about the academy."
As PSG prepare to re-enter the Champions League, sporting director Leonardo admitted that the club's work in the transfer market puts them on par with Europe's giants.
"We have got players who play for the biggest football clubs in the world, of which Paris Saint Germain is one," Leonardo said.
"Shopping in Italy? It is a question of the transfer market. There are players like Mario Balotelli and Davide Santon.
"It is not a matter of shopping in Italy, but a matter related to the transfer market."
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