It’s not often one of the world’s most exciting midfield prospects can be prised away from a European giant for free. Yet that is exactly what looks set to happen with Paris Saint-Germain star Adrien Rabiot.
The France international’s contact is set to expire next summer and he is not close to agreeing on a new deal with PSG, which means he will be allowed to speak to clubs outside of France about a summer move from January.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest clubs in Europe are on red alert with the midfielder’s stubborn attitude leading to an impasse in contract negotiations. Now, there is a great degree of uncertainty as to where exactly his future lies.
Juventus have been considered front-runners for some time. After splashing out on Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer, a free transfer for such a talented and relatively young player is attractive for the club who have signed many stars on a Bosman in recent years. He would make sense as a replacement for Sami Khedira, who will be 32 by the end of the campaign.
In Spain, Barcelona have been one of the sides to the forefront of transfer rumours for much of the summer, hitting the headlines shortly after Rabiot’s rejection of PSG’s terms. There were claims that the Camp Nou side were willing to offer him €10 million per season – more than 30% higher than PSG’s bid. However, they may view Rabiot as a backup option to Frenkie de Jong of Ajax, who remains a top priority for the La Liga champions, with a move for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba also possible.
Sticking with Spain and United, Mundo Deportivo, cited by Sport Witness, claims the Reds are one of the clubs ‘trying to seduce’ Rabiot with high wages plug a signing on fee. The newspaper also states he’ll be looking for in excess of €10 million a year, presumably to compete with Barça’s reported offer. However, Jose Mourinho’s club aren’t one of those most frequently linked with the PSG ace, although there was a claim back in April, as per Paris United.
Meanwhile, PSG boss Thomas Tuchel has stated he would like to keep the 23-year-old but accepts it’s out of his control.
“I really like Adrien, really,” Tuchel told RMC. “I appreciate him.
“There was a difficult situation after the World Cup that he missed but Adrien has showed incredible willingness from the first day of training. He has never missed a training session, not a single thing — we can really trust him and count on him.
“Adrien is good, physically, and he is essential for us. It is very important to have players like him here, to encourage them, support them and place them at the heart of the project.
“I love working with Adrien and I have no influence over the rest.”
But who else is in the race to sign Rabiot next summer? Will he do a U-turn and remain at PSG, or will he join one of the other clubs mentioned in this piece?