Adrien Rabiot's future looks set to go to the wire this month. No one wants to predict what will happen with a player who has a volatile entourage, who for several months have been playing teams in search of the juiciest offer.
For now, what's clear is the conflict of interest between the player and his current club, Paris Saint-Germain. The French side know that it will be very difficult to keep him beyond the expiry of his deal in June. So they are pressing to do a transfer now, before the end of the transfer window (Jan. 31).
The French club would accept an offer of around 15 million euros to let him leave. It's a posture which goes against the plans of Veronique Rabiot, the midfielder's mother and agent, who is in favour of waiting until June. The reason is simple: if her son goes for free, he will be able to get a bigger salary and a better signing on fee.
Rabiot will not travel to Qatar with PSG for "family reasons." The reason is thought to be his father's health. The player, meanwhile, is being followed by Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Tottenham.
Tottenham and Chelsea are the latest to approach the player's people. The former are not ready to pay the wages the player wants because they feel it would lead to a conflict within their squad. Chelsea need a midfielder after Cesc Fabregas moved to Monaco and have turned their attention to Rabiot. The English side are in a rush and want to sign him this month. Bayern also want to do a deal sooner than June.
The player will suffer, though, if he has to wait until the summer. If he doesn't move on in January, he will not play football for the next six months.
That is the posture adopted by PSG sporting director Antero Henrique, who's annoyed with the player and his agent. And also with Barcelona. "It always surprises us that clubs don't respect the rules. We received an offer on Aug. 29 at 8pm, before the market closed. The offer from Barça was ridiculous and the club were surprised to get such a low proposal," he explained on Radio Montecarlo.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel hasn't been so stern. He has left the door open to the player returning to the first team squad if he doesn't leave this month.
Some PSG players, like Thiago Silva, someone who carries a lot of weight in the dressing room, have also offered their support to the frozen out Rabiot. "He's indispensable for us," the Brazilan said.