Arsenal are ahead of Manchester United and Chelsea to sign Adrien Rabiot after contract talks with PSG broke down, reports Le Parisien.
The 19-year-old is highly rated at Parc des Princes, but with just one-year left on his contract, Laurent Blanc has been forced to consider cashing in on him. Struggling to agree an extension, PSG are now ready to sell up to guard against losing him for free next summer.
Competition for places
Rabiot's reservations do not lie with money, but with competition for places. The central central midfielder is keen to make sure he will get a prominent role in the team and the January signing of Yohan Cabaye suggested he would not. That has left the player seeking a move away.
Blanc tried to implement Rabiot into his team, but only managed to start him in 12 Ligue 1 games. He also came off the bench 13 times. That was not enough to satisfy the France starlet and he now looks set to move away.
Premier League interest
PSG are now keen to sell before the summer transfer window closes and are hopeful of getting between €5 million and €8 million from interested parties. Amongst those accredited with an interest are Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Out of the three Premier League juggernauts, it is Arsene Wenger's side who appear to be the frontrunners. According to the same report, Rabiot is keen to work under the French manager. Arsenal have reportedly already held initial talks over a transfer talks with Rabiot expressing a desire to earn a significant increase on his current £8,000-a-week wages.
Jose Mourinho will unlikely be able to offer Rabiot the first team chances he wants with the Special One already admitting a foreign member of his squad is likely to leave to free up space in the squad. If Rabiot moved to Stamford Bridge, he would be struggling to make the 25-man Premier League squad, essentially ruling the Blues out.
Meanwhile Manchester United are growing desperate to find a centre-back with Louis van Gaal focusing all his efforts on strengthening the back line. A deal for Marcos Rojo appeared simple after they bid £16 million, but an ensuing legal battle will keep Ed Woodward and Co. distracted.
However, Arsenal are unlikely to have a free run at the player. Both Juventus and AS Roma have been accredited with an interest in the same report. Rudi Garcia – the manager of the latter – knows Rabiot well from his days managing Lille and wants to bring him to the Italian capital.
Juventus are also looking for options to strengthen their midfield for the long-term. Doubts over Vidal's future appear to have inspired their interest in Rabiot, meaning a move for the Frenchman could be reliant on the Chilean leaving first.
Perfect for Arsenal
All of this adds up to Arsenal have a terrific chance to sign a top midfield talent for a fraction of his true value. As a true central midfielder, who can play in a number of roles, Rabiot could be likened to his compatriot Paul Pogba.
Rabiot can play as a defensive midfielder but can also play in a box-to-box style in required. Arsenal are in need of midfield reinforcements and Rabiot could be the man to fill the gap for the next decade.