Born just a few miles from the centre of the French capital, Adrien Rabiot joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2010 at the age of 15. He broke into the first team a couple of years later, and has gone on to make over 200 appearances for Les Rouge-et-Bleu.
It might seem like the perfect setup. However, Rabiot’s time at the Parc des Princes has often been complicated. He previously entered the final stages of his contract in 2014, but eventually agreed to stay in the face of interest from Serie A side Roma.
The following summer, and with Premier League outfit Arsenal sniffing around, Rabiot appeared to be angling for a move. He was unhappy with his playing time and had been dropped by former PSG boss Laurent Blanc. President Nasser Al-Khelaifi stepped in to resolve the situation, stating that he regarded the academy product as a future captain of the club.
Despite his sometimes questionable attitude, Rabiot spoke of his love for PSG, and claimed he wished to become the Ligue 1 side’s equivalent to Steven Gerrard at Liverpool. And yet more demands followed, centred on his playing position.
Rabiot didn’t like being asked to operate as a defensive midfielder, instead preferring the license to get forward and support attacks. Having his mother as his agent wasn’t helping, but PSG gave in once again and even sold Blaise Matuidi to Juventus in 2017 to accommodate his wishes.
Fast-forward a year, and while Matuidi played a starring role in France’s World Cup triumph in Russia, Rabiot was named on the standby list and failed to make the squad. Perhaps showing some unpleasant personality traits once more, he declined the role of understudy, and PSG refused to condone their player’s actions.
That may have prompted Rabiot to turn down a new contract offer. On the other hand, he may have felt the lack of competitiveness in Ligue 1 deprived him of the chance to showcase his talents, denying him a place in Russia. Or, he may just fancy a new challenge.
Whatever the reason, Rabiot is entering the final few months of his contract at the Parc des Princes. He was widely expected to join Barcelona, with some reports even suggesting he’d signed a pre-contract agreement with the La Liga champions. However, the Catalan giants have spent big money on Frenkie de Jong, who arrives in the summer from Ajax and seems to close the door on Rabiot.
Barca may yet be tempted to give the Frenchman a shot at the Nou Camp, with no transfer fee to pay. However, a hefty signing on fee would probably dissuade them from a move for his services. Rabiot is 12/1 to join the Spanish side this month, but that looks like being one to avoid.
He’s 1/4 to still be at PSG come the end of the transfer window, and 10/3 to leave. The French champions would be happy to secure a fee for him, especially considering he’s been excluded from first-team duties. In fact, it’d be a surprise if they weren’t actively trying to sell him.
Tottenham were reportedly interested in him, and Rabiot is 9/1 to join Mauricio Pochettino’s side this month. Spurs could be in the market for a midfielder following Moussa Dembele’s move to China, but Rabiot apparently turned the north London outfit down.
The reason for that is said to be his desire to move to Liverpool. The Anfield club are odds-on favourites to win the Premier League this season, and have a high profile thanks to their appearance in the Champions League final last term. Jurgen Klopp’s side are 7/1 to sign Rabiot before the January transfer window slams shut on Thursday night, making them the favourites for his signature. However, any bets on that move need to take into account the fact that the Reds can pick up the 23-year-old on a free transfer in the summer.