Chelsea are mulling a cut-price January raid for a central midfielder who was heavily linked with Man Utd last summer, though later admitted he made the right call spurning their advances.
The engine room is poised to become a point of contention at Stamford Bridge in the near future. Jorginho and N’Golo Kante are both out of contract at season’s end and the pair have been vital components in all Chelsea have done well in recent times.
The Blues do still have Mateo Kovacic and Conor Gallagher, as well as a clutch of promising youngsters such as Cesare Casadei and Carney Chukwuemeka.
However, an ambitious club like Chelsea who hope to compete on four fronts each year cannot afford to be caught short in such a vital area.
As such, reports out of Spain put Graham Potter’s side in the mix to sign Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot, potentially as early as January.
The 27-year-old – who is in Didier Deschamps’ France squad in Qatar – was the subject of strong interest from Man Utd last summer.
The Red Devils ran into a brick wall when discussing personal terms with the player’s mother, who also doubles up as his agent.
Rabiot demands deemed “excessive” by Man Utd
Veronique Rabiot is a notoriously tough negotiator and Manchester United baulked at her demand of a net salary of around £113,000-a-week. Per Fabrizio Romano, Man Utd deemed such a figure “excessive” and duly ended all talks.
Rabiot referenced United’s interest just a few days ago and claimed it’s “fortunate” he stayed at Juventus and pricing himself out of a move to Old Trafford was the “best decision”.
Juventus endured a torrid start to the new campaign under Max Allegri and crashed out of their Champions League group. Just one win from six group stage matches was a dreadful return for such an expensively-assembled squad.
However, Rabiot has been one of Juve’s rare bright sparks this season and played every minute of their recent six-match winning streak in Serie A. He’s also provided five goals and two assists across all competitions in the campaign thus far.
Chelsea forwards need a midfield spark?
The Spanish report reckons his added creativity would free up the struggling Chelsea forwards. Indeed, the Blues are by far the lowest scorers (17 goals) of all teams currently in the top half of the Premier League. The next lowest scorers (Brighton and Brentford) have found the net six more times (23).
Rabiot’s current deal in Turin expires next summer and as yet, there’s been no talk of an extension. The player is seemingly content to bide his time, potentially until the end of the season before discussing his future.
However, Chelsea could reportedly try their hand in January and tempt Juventus with a cut-price offer.
The finances of any such move aren’t stated, though it stands to reason Chelsea can easily afford any reduced Rabiot valuation. The Blues are also unlikely to have any qualms about sanctioning high salaries.