AS Roma believe they have won the race for Paris Saint-Germain wonder-kid Adrien Rabiot.
The Frenchman, whose contract expires at the end of the season, had been a target for Premier League giants Arsenal but according to the Daily Mirror now looks set for a move to the Stadio Olympico instead.
And despite having played a key role in back-to-back Ligue 1 successes, the youngster now looks destined for a future in Serie A with Rudi Garcia’s exciting outfit.
Rabiot was given his PSG debut by Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti during his time at the club, but after returning from a loan spell with Toulouse has become a prominent fixture in the side under current manager Laurent Blanc.
Despite vying with the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Blaise Matuidi, Marco Verratti and Thiago Motta for a starting berth, the 19-year-old made 34 appearances as Blanc’s side secured the league and cup double last term.
Though yet to be capped by the French senior side, the player has represented his country at every other level and ranks amongst their most exciting talents for the future. However a contract dispute means his future looks likely to lie beyond the Parc des Princes, with the Italian capital beckoning either in the New Year or next summer.
Moving clubs at such a young age represents a huge risk for the youngster, but with Garcia’s free-flowing side tipped for greatness he could enjoy a career laden with silverware.
The Italian giants may be trailing current champions Juventus by three points after the Old Lady’s 3-2 victory over them two weeks ago, but possess players with enough star quality to end their wait for a first league title since 2001.
Kevin Strootman may yet depart to Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United, but Rabiot could be the perfect replacement for the Dutchman. He possesses skill, tenacity and composure on the ball – three things that could make him something of a cult hero at the Stadio Olympico and see him become one of the finest central-midfielders in world football.
The news will come as a bitter blow to Wenger who had been hoping to bring his countryman to the Emirates Stadium. Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky have around two years of their career left in them, with question marks also lingering over the futures of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil.
The Frenchman may be forced to delve into the transfer market when it reopens in January, but Rabiot’s future already looks decided. Garcia is gaining a player of the highest calibre who could leave his mark on history.