Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal has reportedly not yet given up hope of securing the signing of Adrien Rabiot from Paris Saint-Germain.
According to Xavi Hernandez of Marca, Abidal remains "confident" an agreement can still be reached between the two clubs before the deadline passes on Friday. That's despite PSG not wanting to sell the French midfielder.
"With his contract ending at the end of the season, the player has rejected every renewal offer made by the club," said Hernandez. "As the transfer deadline approaches everything is still open, and the Blaugrana are willing to spend €50 million on the transfer."
Given Rabiot's contract is set to run out at the end of the campaign, the prospect of Barcelona waiting until January before signing the midfielder is also mentioned, as they'd be able to get him for a possible knockdown price.
PSG are said to be wary of losing Rabiot to Barcelona as they're a rival for the UEFA Champions League. However, the French giants are in a tough situation given the midfielder could potentially leave the club for nothing in the summer or agree a pre-contract with another side in January.
Rabiot's signing complete quite a drastic restructuring of the midfield at Barca. Andres Iniesta, Paulinho and Andre Gomes have already left the club this summer, while Arthur and Arturo Vidal have come in.
As relayed by BarcaTimes, the club are still looking at a number of midfield options, although they'd likely arrive next summer, according to Sport:
📰 [SPORT] | Barça hope to sign Pogba, Rabiot or De Jong. 🔶The club is sure that two of the three will join in 2019. 🔷Barcelona tried to sign Pogba, De Jong and Rabiot this summer but it was impossible to bring them because of the resistance from their respective clubs. https://t.co/JfuDj6MxY5
Given his contract situation, if Barcelona were willing to spend so much on Rabiot before the window shuts it would be a huge show of faith in his ability as a footballer.
Rabiot has looked at home at the highest level since forcing his way into the PSG first team, as he has the physicality, dynamism and technical ability to cope in many midfield battles.
He can fulfil numerous tactical roles and carry the ball through phases; he's also efficient in possession:
Despite all these attributes it's not absolutely clear where Rabiot would fit in. In addition to Arthur and Vidal, Barcelona have Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets who could all consider themselves to be first-team players in midfield.
With that in mind, spending €50 million on Rabiot so late in the window may be viewed as something of a reckless move from the Blaugrana. If the club do force PSG into a sale with that type of offer, manager Ernesto Valverde will have a squad capable of challenging on all fronts.