Le Parisien report this evening that PSG outcast and French international midfielder Adrien Rabiot remains convinced that he is joining FC Barcelona this summer on a free transfer.
The Frenchman has not had a good start to 2019, he was excluded from the PSG first team and banished to work exclusively with the reserves after turning down a myriad of contact extension proposals from Les Parisiens – then, in quick succession both his grand-mother and father passed away.
A source familiar with the goings-on at the club’s Camp des Loges training ground had the following to say on Rabiot’s state of mind: “Psychologically, he is showing a strength of character that is above what one might have expected.”
On the day of PSG’s match with Manchester United, with his colleagues all in England, he was seen leaving the Camp des Loges as one of the last of his cohort after a fitness session, recuperation session and lunch in the canteen.
He has not played professional football for two months now – as it currently stands, the Frenchman is not under illusions that he is highly unlikely to be playing for PSG again before the end of the season. He is remaining physically fit though, just in case…
In January, PSG boss Thomas Tuchel told the board that he wanted Rabiot to be reintegrated into the 1st team, but it was also his mechanism of forcing the board to attempt to do as much as they could to sign new midfield players. Since the end of the window, Tuchel has largely stopped making requests to re-integrate Rabiot.
Adrien Rabiot, according to the newspaper, sees himself very clearly as an FC Barcelona player from next summer onwards. In any case, that is what he has been telling those close to him over the last few weeks.
How could he be so sure? The 23-year-old already has a deal in principle with Barcelona: salary, bonuses and his standing in the team. On that last point, the French international will play as the left-sided central midfielder and replace 30-year-old Ivan Rakitic, who will be leaving in summer, according to the outlet.
Free to sign wherever he pleases without a transfer fee, Rabiot has not yet signed anything. That is at least what the player’s entourage is saying:
“When Adrien wants to hit the button, things will be sorted.”
Officially, there is “no agreement,” as FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu announced on the 6th February.