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Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva maintains hope the team and Adrien Rabiot can “find an agreement” to keep the “essential” midfielder at the club amid links to Barcelona.
Per Goal’s Tom Webber, the Brazilian said everyone at the club will need to respect Rabiot’s decision if he leaves, but hopes the 23-year-old opts to stay:
“It’s up to the coach and the club to talk to Adrien. They have to find an agreement, find something that is important for Adrien and for the club.
“I don’t want to get into this, but of course he’s an essential player for the whole team.
“If he leaves, if he decides to leave, you have to respect it, but for me he will become an essential player for any team.”
Rabiot has been involved in an ugly contract standoff with Les Parisiens for some time, and things appeared to reach a conclusion in December. Antero Henrique, the club’s sporting director, announced he had decided not to sign a new deal and would be benched indefinitely as a result, per ESPN FC’s Jonathan Johnson:
Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip
PSG sporting director Antero Henrique: “Adrien Rabiot has told me that he will not sign a contract extension & that he wishes to leave the club at the end of the season, so once his current deal finishes. The consequences are very clear: he is indefinitely benched.” https://t.co/ELsNJuVwoa
His mother and representative Veronique also weighed in, saying they had made a “definitive and final” decision to leave the club, per RTL (h/t Get French Football News).
A move to Barcelona seems almost a foregone conclusion, and the Catalans even denied having an agreement in place with the player in December, per Webber.
Manager Thomas Tuchel has now confirmed Rabiot will be traveling to Qatar with the team for a training camp, however, opening the door for an unlikely reversal of the situation. This explains why Silva maintains hope the two sides can make up, despite everything that has been said.
Rabiot had a nomadic existence during his youth days, frequently moving clubs―and even countries for a spell with Manchester City―before settling in the French capital. He has only played for Les Parisiens as a professional, barring a loan spell at Toulouse.
Tom Williams profiled the youngster for Bleacher Report, noting how his short career has been filled with tons of controversy already:
Tom Williams @tomwfootball
Adrien Rabiot has bags of talent, tons of experience and a long list of suitors, but at a crucial juncture in his career he finds himself frozen out by both club and country. For @brfootball, a piece on one of the most enigmatic players in the modern game https://t.co/e6eLg2m3g4
He and PSG had a major contract standoff in 2014 that seemed destined to end in a split, with Rabiot even agreeing to join AS Roma at one point. The two sides made up months later, so it isn’t out of the question that they will do so again.