Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly willing to sell talented youngster Adrien Rabiot at a serious discount, but Chelsea should see his situation in the French capital for what it is and pass on signing the midfielder.
As reported by the Daily Express' David Wright, PSG have dropped their initial asking price of £24 million to just £9.5 million, as the 19-year-old has told the club he won't be signing a new contract.
Coach Laurent Blanc was clearly disappointed when he discussed the situation, saying: "I believe [Rabiot] will leave, but I can't tell you where. Rabiot has received a good [contract] offer from PSG, but apparently it doesn't interest him. It's a shame."
The relationship between the club and the player appears damaged beyond repair, and Bleacher Report's French football expert Jonathan Johnson has some idea who's primarily to blame: Veronique, Rabiot's mother:
Johnson isn't alone in his assessment. Goal's Robin Bairner dedicated an entire article to the subject, detailing how his stay with Manchester City's youth academy came to an abrupt end in 2008, with his mother rumoured to be the main reason.
She spoke to Le Parisien about her son's future, via Bairner, indicating she didn't believe PSG was the best place for him to continue his progression:
He needs to play regularly in high-level matches. Since February he has only started five times in the league and once in the Champions League.
He cannot afford to spend a season on the bench. At his age, if you do not progress, you regress. His goal is to join the France team at Euro 2016. Staying at PSG seems very difficult.
On the surface, there's nothing wrong with that statement. Young players need minutes to develop—if Rabiot isn't getting enough minutes, that's cause for concern. Paul Pogba had the same opinion when he left Manchester United, and he turned out alright.
Rabiot isn't Pogba, however, and the suggestion the 19-year-old should "play high-level matches" is ludicrous. Youngsters in search for minutes usually find them out on loan or in league and cup matches.
Even Pogba never demanded extended playing time in the Red Devils' top matches—all he wanted was an opportunity to prove himself, something Juventus were willing to give him. PSG have already done the same for Rabiot, but his entourage wants more.
Les Parisiens have every reason to make sure Rabiot gets the best guidance possible. His talent is undeniable, and Blanc wants nothing more than to make sure the youngster keeps developing, for the sake of the club. But Rabiot's mother knows better than PSG's army of trainers and scouts, so the decision has been made.
The list of teams interested in the central midfielder is long, including Chelsea, Arsenal, Juventus, Roma and Monaco. The chances of Rabiot earning more playing time with any of the top clubs than he would with PSG are small, and of that group, Chelsea realistically have the most talent in the centre of the pitch.
Jose Mourinho is a phenomenal manager, but developing young talent is not what he is famous for. Looking at Rabiot's track record with City and PSG, chances are Veronique will start complaining within his first six months at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have no need for such distractions. As good as Rabiot may be, he's not good enough to deserve significant playing time with a side playing for the Premier League title and European aspirations.
Sending him out on loan to develop? Veronique believes her son needs to play high-level matches with PSG—one can only imagine how she'll react if Chelsea suggest to send him to a mid-table side.
Buying talent for the future is one thing, but Rabiot and his entourage believe his time is now. They won't be satisfied if the Blues decide to do what PSG did and bring him along slowly.
Rabiot wasn't willing to fight for his place in the French capital, reminiscent of Romelu Lukaku's situation with Chelsea before he moved to Everton. We all saw how Mourinho dealt with the Belgian youngster—there's no need to go through all of that again.
Discount or no discount, Rabiot simply isn't worth all of the distractions that seem to follow him everywhere. The Blues have too much talent to accommodate him and his entourage, and they should pass on signing the French talent.
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