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

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2014

Paris Saint Germain's Adrien Rabiot, controls the ball during a Champions League last 16 second leg soccer match between Paris Saint Germain against Bayer Leverkusen at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Michel Euler/Associated Press

Not content with signing one silky smooth midfield playmaker this summer, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is targeting another. Having already secured Cesc Fabregas, Mourinho is pursuing a deal for young Paris Saint-Germain ace Adrien Rabiot.

Anthony Chapman of The Daily Express reports Mourinho wants to land Rabiot for a bargain fee:

However Jose Mourinho is keen to snap up some talented starlets as he looks to improve the quality of youngsters entering the first-team squad, and Rabiot has emerged as a potential target.

PSG, who took David Luiz off Mourinho's hands for a staggering £50million, would rather cash in now than lose him for nothing, and could accept Chelsea's £7million proposal.

Chapman is referencing Rabiot's current contract status with the Ligue 1 champions. He only has 12 months left on his existing deal.

Targeting Rabiot now is a savvy move for Chelsea, one that has positive long-term implications for a squad Mourinho is still shaping.

What's particularly interesting about this rumour is Rabiot's playing style. He is certainly not the typical, overly physical midfield destroyer Mourinho usually loves to stockpile.

His current squad is fit to burst with that kind of player. Ramires, Nemanja Matic and John Obi Mikel ensure that a manager who is proud of his ability to "park the bus" will never be short of a destroyer in the middle.

However, he won't be getting that if he signs Rabiot. The 19-year-old is a cultured passer, who takes a rather languid approach to getting on the ball.

When he does, Rabiot's distribution is thoughtful and creative. Those are qualities more commonly associated with Fabregas. They are certainly attributes the Chelsea midfield lacked last season. writer Omar Hamouda has detailed Rabiot's comfort and efficiency in possession:

The youngster is renowned for his passing capabilities and his astute 90% pass accuracy in Ligue 1 last represents that. Rabiot misplaced just 83 passes in his 25 appearances in the French division and at just 19 years of age, it bodes brilliantly for his future.

Rabiot's assurance moving the ball around also bodes well for Chelsea. Mourinho's players were ponderous in many games during the later stages of last season.

They appeared particularly bereft of ideas in defeats to Crystal Palace and Sunderland. Those results did more to condemn Chelsea's title bid than any others.

Mourinho is obviously determined to make sure his squad won't be short of flair and technical verve this season. Before targeting Rabiot, he was credited with interest in young creator Hakan Calhanoglu, per Daily Mail reporter Sami Mokbel.

Mourinho's desire to recruit more creative midfielders has been evident this summer, including brief interest in Hakan Calhanoglu.
Mourinho's desire to recruit more creative midfielders has been evident this summer, including brief interest in Hakan Calhanoglu.Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

Having missed out on Calhanoglu, who signed for Bundesliga outfit Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Mourinho is smart to go after Rabiot. The young Frenchman can be a natural deputy to the 27-year-old Fabregas.

Rabiot has the passing range and quality to use his technical guile from deep. From there he could spray passes to set wide forwards like Willian and Andre Schurrle free.

Mourinho is clearly re-shaping his midfield to emphasise different qualities this season. Rabiot could play a key role in establishing a needed balance between Chelsea's existing muscle and drive, and a new influx of creative intent.

Signing the budding young prospect would earn Mourinho a real gem, one who could quickly become a bright young star at Stamford Bridge.