Arsenal are in danger of missing out on Adrien Rabiot, after AC Milan entered the fray and offered a more beneficial deal to his club, Paris Saint-Germain.
Talksport are carrying reports from Italy that claim the Rossoneri have approached PSG with the offer of a season-long loan deal for the 19-year-old. This comes in light of the same outlet reporting that the Gunners had agreed a fee in the region of £5.6million for Rabiot.
This latest report claims that the Premier League side could have their move scuppered by the offer from the Serie A giants, because it give PSG a chance to keep him long-term rather than selling outright.
Rabiot’s reported agreement with Arsenal came in the wake of him turning down the offer of a new contract with PSG, leaving only a year remaining on his current deal. This brings about the prospect of him leaving the Ligue 1 champions on a free transfer last summer, which is something they are unlikely to welcome.
He is a very talented young midfielder but his progress at Parc des Princes has been knocked by the arrival of France international Yohan Cabaye. This frustrated Rabiot, who was expected to make a breakthrough in the first team last season, and affected his decision to turn down a new contract.
PSG are still keen to hang onto the tall left-footed midfielder and the AC Milan loan deal would give him some regular playing time, while also giving them a chance to re-enter negotiations over renewing his deal.
Arsenal will have to address their defensive midfield personnel either before the transfer window shuts or next summer due to the ages of the current incumbents. Mikel Arteta, the Gunners’ captain, is first choice in front of the defence at the moment and usually deputised by Mathieu Flamini, but both are over 30 and each separately possess the attributes Wenger will hope he can acquire in once player.
Arteta is key to the way the side plays as he starts most moves with his good range of passing, while a strong tactical mind means he sees danger quickly. The only problem is that he is not so physically imposing and looked slow and tired at the end of last season, while a general lack of pace was exposed in Arsenal’s thrashings away at Liverpool and Chelsea.
Flamini is extremely combative and is more naturally suited to the defensive side of the game, but his passing is limited and cannot start attacks as well as Arteta, nor keep possession as effectively.
Rabiot is tall – he stands over 6ft – and can be physically imposing, while he also possesses a good passing range. A talented left-foot and a good engine mean he could well be the long-term answer to Arsene Wenger’s problems, but he would likely need a season to adapt to the Premier League at least.
Coming in before the transfer window shuts and learning from Arteta and Flamini would be beneficial for him, as well as providing a smooth transition in front of the defence for the Arsenal manager.