Barcelona Reportedly Hold Talks with PSG over Adrien Rabiot Transfer

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2018

CAEN, FRANCE - MAY 19: Adrien Rabiot of Paris Saint Germain during the French League 1  match between Caen v Paris Saint Germain at the Stade Michel d Ornano on May 19, 2018 in Caen France (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has reportedly held talks with Paris Saint-Germain over a potential move for midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

According to Sport, the former Blaugrana defender met PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi to speak about the relationship between the two European giants. At the meeting in Paris, it's said a discussion about Rabiot's future was on the agenda.

"Despite PSG not wanting to sell Rabiot, Barca are interested," Sport reported. "They have the basis of a deal with the player but now need to fight about the wall that is PSG. Once relations between the clubs improve, they will try to sign Rabiot."

It's added that PSG want to get the 23-year-old tied down to a new contract, although new manager Thomas Tuchel is happy to let Rabiot have the final say over where his future lies.

According to Sam Marsden of ESPN FC, the two clubs are not keen on doing business with one another following Neymar's world-record move to Paris a year ago. As such, it's said Barcelona may have to wait another year to get the midfielder.

As football writer Jeremy Smith relayed, according to reports in France, the player and his club are not close to agreeing a new contract:

Jeremy Smith @jeremysmith98

.@lequipe reporting that PSG and Rabiot may be heading for another contract dispute. The Rabiots aren't happy with the latest offer. Some at PSG beginning to get annoyed with him. But El-Khelaifi still supports him, doesn't want him to leave. Barcelona still interested though.

Rabiot emerged from the PSG academy to become a first-team regular, and he was a linchpin of the team that dominated French football last season.

When he's at his best, he is wonderful to watch. While he's a rangy player, he glides across the turf with the ball at his feet. That blend of attributes makes him tough to contain, as Rabiot can pass, dribble and tackle. Being left-footed, he also offers a midfield natural balance.

WhoScored.com illustrated just how efficient the PSG man is on the ball:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Best pass accuracy of midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues (min. 5 starts): Julian Draxler - 93% Mousa Dembele - 92.6% Adrien Rabiot - 92.3% Toni Kroos - 92.2% Blaise Matuidi - 91.6% https://t.co/smgMUhXtKx

For Barcelona, signing Rabiot this summer appears a massive challenge. After all, PSG are short of central-midfield options, with Marco Verratti the man who typically partnered the France international last season; veteran Thiago Motta retired at the end of the campaign.

Barca are well-stocked in this area of the field too. While they lost club icon Andres Iniesta at the end of last season, they spent £142 million to sign Philippe Coutinho in January. They can also call on the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Denis Suarez, while Andre Gomes is still at the club despite his struggles.

Plus, speaking about Rabiot, Tuchel appears to be eager to work alongside him at PSG:

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

Tuchel: "You can see Adrien's (Rabiot) potential -- he still has room to grow. I love this player. I love working with him & his potential is clear to see." #ICC2018 #PSG

There is clearly a lingering friction between the teams after the way in which Neymar's transfer was conducted, and that will surely be a factor here.

Still, given the dearth of midfield options PSG have in comparison to the rest of their star-studded squad, Tuchel must do what he can to ensure Rabiot stays put in the French capital for at least another year.