David Ornstein says Paris Saint Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot is very much on Arsenal’s radar with the club eager to try and sign the 23-year-old when he becomes a free agent in the summer.
Rabiot looks certain to leave the Parc des Princes in the summer having been banished to the reserves since contract negotiations fell through in early December.
The midfielder has since appealed to the French football authorities claiming the treatment goes against the league’s ‘professional footballer’s charter’.
While Thomas Tuchel has hinted at reconciliation by including Rabiot in his Champions League squad for the second half of the season, suitors are already circling.
Barcelona were heavily tipped to sign the player in January before looking elsewhere. Bayern Munich and a host of English clubs have also been linked.
Speaking exclusively on the Arsecast Extra this week about Unai Emery’s transfer preferences, including interest in another PSG man, Christopher Nkunku, Ornstein outlined just how coveted Rabiot is at the Emirates.
“I’m told Unai Emery likes experienced players, he likes to go with players he knows and trusts,” said the BBC Football Correspondent.
“That certainly explains the Nkunku interest, who he played far more than Thomas Tuchel has this season.
“It explains the pursuit of Denis Suarez, who I know a number of people in the game have reservations about, not just at Arsenal. And also [it explains] the reported interest, once again, in Adrien Rabiot who Arsenal were keen on during Arsene Wenger’s time with his links to PSG and the French game.
“It seemed he’d be signing for Barcelona [on a free] but they’ve signed a player for that midfield position, Frenkie de Jong. There are credible reports that Arsenal will come back in for Rabiot.
“There are people within Arsenal who are very keen that they sign Rabiot, or at least make a concerted effort. He’s very highly admired. There are some complications, around him, particularly around the people you have to deal with and his salary demands. But that’s certainly one to keep an eye on.”
Ornstein went on to suggest that had the deal for Matteo Guendouzi not gone through, Arsenal were lining up talks with Steven N’Zonzi, another player with whom Emery had worked at Sevilla.
“That goes to indicate that he likes players he trusts, players he’s worked with at other club. And who have experience and can do a job immediately.”
In other news, there are suggestions, seemingly emanating from the Telegraph, that Arsenal could put Shkodran Mustafi on the transfer list this summer as they look to bolster their transfer funds.