Failure to recover from a troublesome groin injury could end Paris Saint Germain midfielder Marco Verratti’s hopes of making his European Championship debut for Italy this summer, reports said Friday.
Verratti, 23, has made only a handful of appearances for the French champions after suffering the injury in February.
A report in Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday claims the injury flared up again this week, leading to fears the supremely talented PSG star has only a 30% chance of being fit to play at Euro 2016 this summer.
The report also suggested PSG could opt to put Verratti under the knife in a bid to assure his full fitness for the start of next season — a solution that would rule him out of Italy’s plans.
If confirmed, it would be a significant blow to an Italy team already deprived of Juventus ace Claudio Marchisio, who suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his knee last month that has ruled him out until next season.
New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo, traditionally one of Italy’s midfield linchpins, is expected to be included in Antonio Conte’s Euro 2016 squad despite persistent doubts over his match fitness.
Conte had indicated earlier this year he would be counting on Verratti this summer: “We can’t wait any longer. We need Marco to step up and lead the Italy team.”
The 48-year-old coach, who will take over at Premier League giants Chelsea next season, could now be forced to consider his midfield options.