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Should Man City move for Adrien Rabiot in January?

PSG Midfielder On City Radar

Red Star Belgrade v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Group C Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

Manchester City have been rumoured to be interested in the signing of Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot who will be out of contract in the summer. The 23-year-old has refused to renew his contract with the French giants as he seeks a move away from the Paris-based club.

For whatever reasons, the defensive midfielder has made it clear to the French champions he intends to leave at the end of his current deal which expires in June, 2019.

As per Marca, the club’s sporting director Antero Henrique revealed recently that the player has extinguished any hope of remaining in Paris beyond 2019.

”On this point, we will not continue negotiations (with Rabiot),” Henrique said. “It is a decision made by the club following numerous meetings in which Rabiot informed us that he will not sign a contract and that he wants to leave the club on a free at the end of the season.”

Angered by the development, the club now intends to punish the player by freezing him out of the team.

”For the player, this holds a very clear consequence: he will remain on the bench indefinitely,” Henrique affirmed.

It would be recalled that Rabiot joined PSG as a 15-year-old after he left Manchester City (where he spent a year at City’s academy) due to homesickness at the age of 14. He has since grown at the French capital and has gone on to make 219 first team appearances for Paris Saint-Germain winning several trophies during that time.

But his contract situation has been common knowledge to many top sides like Barcelona, Juventus, Tottenham, Man City and Arsenal who have kept tabs with the development and have reportedly made their interest in the player known. As a result, the player has been linked with a move to several top European sides who look to take advantage of the situation.

City remain in the hunt for a defensive midfielder to replace the ageing, yet dependable Fernandinho as the Brazilian gradually winds down his successful career at the club. The 33-year-old is one of City’s best players at the moment and has been instrumental to the team’s success in recent times. Yet, it is important to prepare for life without him as he will not be around forever.

Players like Ajax’s Frenkie De Jong and Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele have been linked to the club in recent months. But their records show that Rabiot is as good, if not better than either of them.

Beginning from the Dutchman, Frenkie has scored twice and set up another goal in 14 Eredivisie matches this season. The 21-year-old has a passing accuracy of 92 percent with an average of 1.1 aerial duels won per game. He’s been named Man of the Match in one of those 14 games.

Next up the Olympique Lyonnais’ man. Ndombele has been a key player for the French side and Cityzens were afforded an opportunity to assess the player up close as he featured against the Sky Blues in the Champions League group stage. He has been impeccable so far for the side. His two goals in the competition helped the team qualify for the next round.

Domestically, he has set up four goals in 16 Ligue 1 games so far with a passing accuracy of 89 percent. He wins an average of 0.5 duels per match meaning he is not that great in the air. But at 21, there is clearly enough time ahead of him to improve.

As for Rabiot, the Frenchman has scored twice and provided one assist in 12 league outings this term. He has a 93 percent passing accuracy with an average duels per game win of 1.6 in the league and 2.8 in the Champions League.

However, the man he could possibly replace, Fernandinho, has scored once and set up three in 17 Premier League appearances this term. His passing accuracy is 88 percent and he wins 2.4 duels per match on average.

These hard facts put the French international ahead of others as heir to Fernie’s holding midfielder throne. When you add to that the fact that City can get him for little or nothing, it becomes a superb deal to make. More so, as the player has been reported to be interested in a reunion with the club after the earlier departure.

The club can sign a pre-contract agreement with the him in January prior to a summer move or secure a cut-price deal to take him back to England at the turn of the new year. He could prove to be a very important addition that will provide adequate cover for Fernandinho for the rest of the season. At 23, he is more mature than the other options, yet also the future.