BARCELONA

Rabiot - Barcelona: dangerous conflicts of interests

The reality is Barça want the PSG midfielder, who will be free to leave in the summer, but they also want De Jong, who would cost around €70 million.

Someone’s not telling the whole truth in the case of Adrien Rabiot’s potential move to Barcelona and time will reveal all. There are, however, unmistakable signs of what is really going on. The 23 year old is out of contract at PSG in the summer, meaning he can start talking to clubs as of 1 January about a move, but not before. Barcelona released an official statement on Sunday, denying they had in any way made illegal contact with the player.

Barcelona's statement read:

'The only contact made was during the month of August and one week ago. In both cases, this contact was made with PSG's sporting management to show FC Barcelona's interest in player Adrien Rabiot.

FC Barcelona have always wanted to work with the utmost transparency in their dealings with PSG and with any other club.

FC Barcelona refute the existence of any type of agreement with PSG player Adrien Rabiot.'

Barcelona clearly want Rabiot

Here’s the background. Barcelona definitely want Rabiot. Abidal, in one of the first of his symbolic and populist actions after being named technical secretary last June, travelled to Paris with Pep Segura to indicate the club’s interest in the player, known in particular for his performance in the 4-0 first leg of the Champions League tie between the sides at the Parc des Princes in 2016-17. Rabiot’s inner circle, led by his mother and representative Veronique floated the idea of a meeting to take place in Barcelona when the representative of Barça got back. But PSG couldn’t have cared less - even though the player only had a year left on his contract. Rabiot wasn’t for sale.

The current situation is as follows. Barcelona want Rabiot. They also want De Jong. But they don’t know if they’ll get either. Rabiot is free to negotiate his own future as of Tuesday. So to sign him the situation is basically an auction, with the bidding over his salary of around 50 million euros over five years. That sort of cash though would run contrary to Barcelona’s wage system. Breaking that would mean shattering the ecosystem of the dressing room.

De Jong is worth 70 million and also won’t negotiate on salary. It’s true that Barça want Rabiot but if they get De Jong they won’t be able to meet the demands of the current PSG man. It would smother the salary situation of their other stars: Busquets, Arthur, Vidal. Plus players like Aleña and Riqui Puig. In this game of getting the balance right Barcelona have already had a very bad experience…