Paris Saint-Germain starlet Adrien Rabiot has revealed he expected to join AS Roma this summer, and hinted that he is still keen to move to Stadio Olimpico despite interest from Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.
Goal.com carries quotes from the 19-year-old which was taken from an interview with French TV, whereby the midfielder intimates a desire to leave Parc des Princes after being exiled from the Ligue 1 champions' first-team.
Breakdown in talks
Rabiot's refusal to sign an extension to his current contract which is set to expire next summer has prompted Laurent Blanc to demote the teenage talent back to the PSG youth team.
However, the Frenchman remains positive about his prospects of returning the senior fold after revealing he has had a clear line of communication with his manager, but admitted that his long-term future is likely to lie away from Paris.
"With Roma, everything was done," he told Canal+. "It was my choice. I had already decided to wear their shirt. And to be honest, I don't understand why the deal collapsed.
"I don't know if I will play again for PSG. It was not my choice to play for the reserve team but it's a pleasure to play football, even training and playing in the fourth tier.
"I'm available to the coach [Laurent Blanc] and he'll decide. We speak very often and he told me that he would love this situation to be resolved."
Competition for places in the PSG first-team has been mentioned as a possible reason behind Rabiot's motivation to leave the club, but he won't find it any easier nailing down a regular slot with any of his reported suitors, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Roma all boasting great options in midfield.
"It's not true that I feat the competition at PSG," he responded. "Look at the other midfielders at Roma. There is competition there, too.
"Roma are a big club with a nice project and they are now playing in the Champions League. Now, we just have to wait until January to see what we can do."
Rabiot's indication that a Serie 'A' switch is still high on his agenda will come as a blow to the likes of Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and particularly Arsene Wenger, who has tracked the youngster for a long time.
However, if Rudi Garcia wants to secure the want-away star's services then he'll not only have to reach agreement with PSG over a transfer fee, but also meet the player's extravagant £80,000-a-week wage demands.
Roma have been well backed by their American owner James Pallotta over the past couple of years, but his potential reluctance to match Rabiot's required salary could open the door for a potential switch to Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge or the Emirates.
It remains to be seen whether the youth international will feature for his current club again, having been forced to watch on from the sidelines for the duration of the 2014/15 campaign so far.