Laurent Blanc has confirmed Arsenal target Adrien Rabiot may leave Paris Saint-Germain this season, although the French boss has failed to confirm whether the midfielder is set to sign for Arsene Wenger's Premier League side.
Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC tweeted Blanc's comments after his pre-match press conference in the lead up to this weekend's Ligue 1 fixtures:
Blanc confirms that it is possible that Adrien Rabiot will leave PSG, but will not reveal destination.— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) August 21, 2014
Veronique Rabiot, the player's agent and mother, previously said her son "does not want to extend his contract." She also indicated Juventus "could be of interest" back in July in a blatant attempt to land Adrien an elite suitor, per Sky Sports.
Blanc appears to have picked up on this, per Johnson:
Blanc also takes swipe at Rabiot's mother Veronique, by saying that the player's entourage are taking advantage of contract situation.— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) August 21, 2014
Even so, the manager hopes the talented 19-year-old will reconsider his future:
Blanc said he wants Rabiot to stay, but quite clear from tone of press conference on subject that player is not popular right now.— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) August 21, 2014
Rabiot is yet to excel in the PSG setup, but his potential is clear. The starlet possesses excellent vision, isn't afraid to get physical and continues to develop his positional awareness. He can shield the defence and patrol the centre in a bid to keep his side's measure of control in tact.
Which midfielder should Arsenal target?
Blanc confirmed Rabiot "was offered an extension by the management," per Sky Sport Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio. The same writer also indicates PSG are looking for a "very high sum" of €30 million (approximately £24 million) before letting the player leave.
Arsenal will balk at this fee, especially considering original reports had Rabiot's cost placed "around £5.5 million," per RMC (via Bruce Archer of the Daily Star).
It is rather unlikely Blanc can demand such a price considering Rabiot has confirmed he wishes to leave and the player's contract expires in 2015. Therefore, should the starlet fail to agree a new deal at the Parc des Princes, he will need to be sold cheaply now or else exit for free at the end of the season.
Wenger insists his search for additional signings isn't desperate, but admits he could be tempted into snapping up another defensive midfielder, per Arsenal's official Twitter account:
Wenger on signings: "We are not in an emergency case but we are open to any opportunity to strengthen our defensive department." #EFCvAFC— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) August 21, 2014
The Arsenal boss also appears optimistic of keeping his squad together. He confirmed he is looking to provide Joel Campbell with more chances in the first team and also admitted the Gunners are yet to receive any bids for their players:
This realisation certainly aids Arsenal's quest for silverware, but a couple of quality signings are needed before the club can be considered serious title challengers. Sami Khedira is a potential candidate, according to Jeremy Wilson of The Telegraph. The German World Cup winner has confirmed he wishes to leave Real Madrid, as tweeted by Sky Sports:
BREAKING: Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti says Sami Khedira and Angel di Maria have asked to leave club. #SSNHQ— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) August 21, 2014
The unwanted Los Blancos star would offer Wenger a fully developed defensive midfielder. His physicality and reading of the game could slot straight into the side that desperately needs greater tackling power ahead of the defence.
While Rabiot may develop into a similar player, Khedira offers guaranteed quality for potentially less money. Wenger will be hoping to build upon last season's fourth-place finish and FA Cup win, a challenge Khedira is better suited to taking on right away.