Premier League • England

Liverpool presented with like-for-like swap theory by which they could win race for Adrien Rabiot

Juventus star Adrien Rabiot

Liverpool are showing an interest in signing Adrien Rabiot from Juventus, who could take a similarly-valued midfielder in return, according to reports in Italy.

After the additions of Darwin Nunez, Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay, Liverpool appear to be briefing that there will be no more summer signings at Anfield in 2022. However, links with other players are continuing.

Besides, the transfer window is far from over for Liverpool when it comes to player sales. There are a few fringe players they could cash in on to balance the books.

One player facing an uncertain future is Naby Keita. The midfielder is about to enter the final 12 months of his contract with the club.

Having failed to build up any kind of momentum during his four years on Merseyside so far, Keita could in theory be sacrificed. However, there have been claims they could try to extend his contract.

But other clubs are showing interest in signing the former RB Leipzig star. For example, there have been rumours of a swap deal with Inter involving Nicolo Barella.

Another possible scenario, according to Calciomercatoweb, would be for Keita to swap places with Juventus midfielder Rabiot – whose terms also expire in 2023.

Both players carry similar valuations of around €20m (£17.2m) and feature in the same position. Therefore, it would be a like-for-like exchange.

In terms of a salary, Rabiot earns a net amount of €7m per season. In English money, that equates to around £116,000 per week.

Juventus are evolving their midfield, and given that Rabiot has never really reached significantly high levels of performance, he could be a casualty. In turn, Liverpool could offer him a different solution.

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Rabiot would be competing with the likes of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara for a place in Jurgen Klopp’s starting midfield.

On the other hand, Keita would complement the likes of Manuel Locatelli, Denis Zakaria and – should all go to plan – Paul Pogba at Juventus.

Each would be hoping for more success at their next destination, were any deal of the sort to come off.

Liverpool would be no better off with Adrien Rabiot

Since running down his PSG contract to join Juventus in 2019, Rabiot has failed to progress significantly.

Although he has earned regular gametime, the midfield has remained a weak spot of Juventus’ system. Therefore, it is little wonder they are tweaking their personnel there.

Liverpool should tread with caution when it comes to targeting Rabiot, if there is any truth behind the rumours. He would not necessarily be an upgrade on Keita, who rediscovered some form and fitness in 2021-22.

Furthermore, signing a high-earning midfielder now may hamper their chances of landing top target Jude Bellingham in 2023.

Hence, Liverpool should consider different solutions if they still need to offload Keita. Perhaps a simple cash sale would be preferable.

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