Chelsea Transfer News: Adrien Rabiot a Fantastic Long-Term Target for Blues

Dominic Raynor@@dominicraynorCorrespondent IIJuly 9, 2014

From left, Brazilian Maxwell Scherrer, Adrien Rabiot and Italian Thiago Motta celebrates their victory after the Group C Champions League soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Olympiakos FC at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Wednesday, Nov.27, 2013. PSG won 2-1.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Michel Euler/Associated Press

With veteran players like Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole off the books at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho appears eager to add some fresh young faces to his squad and has made a move for Paris Saint-Germain starlet Adrien Rabiot.

The Blues have lodged a £7 million bid for the 19-year-old midfielder, according to Metro, who describe Rabiot as "one of the most exciting young midfielders in Europe".

That might be stretching it a bit, but the strong, ball-playing midfielder is certainly talented. So much so that PSG have been feverishly trying to tie him down to a new contract, per Sky SportsRabiot has rejected the deal and looks set to move on.

The breakdown in contract talks has alerted the Blues to a potential transfer for a player who had a brief taste of English youth football at Manchester City in 2008 before being snapped up by PSG.

He was also a target for Chelsea last season before a knee injury in January curtailed their interest.

In his homeland, the Frenchman has grown into a very capable and versatile midfielder. Despite his young age, he made 31 appearances for the French Champions in Ligue 1 and the Champions League last season, scoring two goals and creating 12 chances, per

He has been compared to Chelsea's 25-year-old midfielder Nemanja Matic, who was signed from Benfica in January, and as such would represent a fantastic long-term prospect for the Blues.

However, playing as backup while he learns the ropes at Chelsea might not appeal to the youngster. His battle for a place in a PSG midfield that contains the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Motta could well be one of the reasons he is looking to move on.

ESPN writer and French football expert Jonathan Johnson tweeted:

Even if Mourinho plans to play a pair of deep-lying midfielders behind a trio such as Oscar, Eden Hazard and Willian, it would still leave Ramires, Matic, Rabiot and John Obi Mikel in rotation for two places.

The Blues also signed 19-year-old midfielder Mario Pasalic from Croatian club Hajduk Split for an undisclosed fee on Wednesday, per BBC Sport, so competition for places will be fierce.

Chelsea might be better off making Rabiot a long-term target and picking him up for free next summer after one more year of development in the ranks of PSG.

Francisco Seco/Associated Press

However, with Sky Sports claiming Italian trio Juventus, Inter Milan and Roma are also tracking the player, Chelsea's hand might be forced to sign such a fantastic and obviously ambitious player this summer.

Can Mourinho afford to miss out on player who is equally strong on and off the ball?