Report: PSG Star Adrien Rabiot Rumoured in Barcelona, Liverpool Transfer Battle

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistNovember 2, 2018

Paris Saint-Germain's French midfielder Adrien Rabiot celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Amiens at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on October 20, 2018. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Barcelona and Liverpool are reportedly among the front-runners to sign Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot as he prepares to enter the final six months of his contract at the Parc des Princes.

A long list of European teams have been linked with Rabiot amid rumours of a PSG exit, but Mundo Deportivo (h/t Sport Witness) reported Barca and the Reds as two of the most heavily interested parties.

Rabiot can leave his club for free next summer or for a fee in the winter, while he'll also be free to sign a pre-contract agreement with teams as of January 1.

This isn't the first time Rabiot has run down his contract into its final stages since arriving at PSG in 2010, and president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is said to have had several recent offers of a new deal turned down.

It leaves the door open for Barca to come in with an offer in the new year, although their midfield's display in Sunday's El Clasico hardly left the impression that major improvements were required, per Football Talent Scout:

FootballTalentScout @FTalentScout

Barcelona's midfield vs Real Madrid Arthur: 49 passes & 94% pass accuracy Ivan Rakitic: 69 passes & 94% pass accuracy Sergio Busquets: 62 passes & 92% pass accuracy Domination. 🔵🔴 https://t.co/AASsa9zudO

Both Barca and the Reds made significant additions to their midfield make-ups in the summer.

The Blaugrana agreed a deal to sign Arthur Melo from Gremio earlier in 2018, while Arturo Vidal was also brought to the Camp Nou from Bayern Munich.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp looked back to his Bundesliga roots and concluded the pre-agreed signing of Naby Keita from RB Leipzig, but it was more of a surprise when Fabinho joined from AS Monaco.

It took the Brazilian time to make his impact at Anfield, but Klopp said prior to Saturday's 4-1 humiliation of Cardiff City that he looked forward to seeing Fabinho at his best, via Omnisport:

Omnisport @OmnisportNews

Liverpool meet Cardiff in the Premier League in under an hour. And Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is hoping to get more from his midfield to take the pressure off regular front three Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Follow the action here: https://t.co/SHARvZYvMV https://t.co/X6mJqL5Raq

It's debatable as to whether either club truly needs a player like Rabiot, but there is the temptation that deals such as these should be taken advantage of while they're available.

The 23-year-old and team-mate Kylian Mbappe were benched for Le Classique against Marseille last Sunday, a fixture they won 2-0, and commentator Adam Summerton said a stronger hand has been required in Paris in the past:

Adam Summerton @adamsummerton

If Mbappé & Rabiot were dropped for discipline reasons that’s really significant. A club in severe need of a culture change & an empowered coach, if they’re to challenge for CL, and that’s an important step #PSG

Thomas Tuchel appears more willing to discipline his players, but it's possible the humbling effect of moving to a venue like the Camp Nou could transform Rabiot into a better player again.

Perhaps his talents wouldn't be quite as productive in La Liga or the Premier League as they are in Ligue 1—perhaps they'd be even better suited—but StatsBomb showed how he stands out as elite in France:

StatsBomb @StatsBomb

Adrien Rabiot, PSG 18-19. It's hard to believe he's not even 24 yet. https://t.co/Ff2S0nbfDY

Rabiot's passing attributes, not to mention a deceptive amount of defensive work, make him a very tempting target for Barca and Liverpool, who remain on high alert to his situation.