The links between Adrien Rabiot and Tottenham Hotspur have been simmering in the background for what feels like forever, but they seem to be heating up slightly as we head towards the January transfer window. According to French outlet Le Parisien, it’s looking increasingly likely that PSG is going to sell Rabiot in January, or risk losing him on a free transfer this summer.
Rabiot has had a pretty rocky time in Paris, and apparently contract extension talks have repeatedly stalled. That means that if PSG want to get any money for the talented and young attacking midfielder, they’ll probably need to do so in January, and for a relatively cut-rate price.
The report references a Mundo Deportivo report that says Rabiot is ready to move to Barcelona on a free transfer this summer, but that’s the Spanish media, which ALWAYS reports good players moving to Barcelona for free. According to Le Parisien, if Rabiot does go PSG Sporting Director Antero Henrique will sell to “a friend.” I’m not sure what that means, but the two clubs mentioned as being high on the list of possibilities are Spurs and Juventus.
Adrien Rabiot, PSG 18-19. It's hard to believe he's not even 24 yet. pic.twitter.com/Ff2S0nbfDY— StatsBomb (@StatsBomb) October 26, 2018
Spurs are probably on friendly terms with the Ligue 1 club — after all, we did sign two of their cast-offs recently in Serge Aurier and Lucas Moura. Rabiot has his detractors, especially those who would knock him for his attitude, but he’s a very talented player who would instantly help shore up Spurs’ depleted central midfield corps. Thus far for PSG he has 2 goals and 1 assist in just over 1200 minutes of action — not the gaudiest of stats, but according to Understat has a higher xGBuildup and xGChain than any of Spurs’ current central midfielders. He’s good in the press, loves a good tackle, and can pick out a pass. He’d be a great addition.
The sticking point is likely going to be wages. The reason PSG hasn’t extended him, according to ESPN, is that he’s demanding €10m/year (about £171k/week) in wages, plus a signing bonus. That’s steep, especially for a club like Spurs who have a number of players already on super high wages (though admittedly still less than Harry Kane’s new contract wage). I don’t know what PSG would demand as a transfer fee, but it’s likely to be substantial, even six months before his contract expires.
This is by no means certain, and Spurs are up against a couple of heavy hitters for Rabiot’s services. But by all accounts, Mauricio Pochettino really likes him, and the feeling is supposedly mutual. And surely, SURELY Spurs won’t go without signing anyone in January, right?