In a transfer story that refuses to go away, Barcelona continues to be linked with signing Rabiot either from PSG in January or for free next summer. The move has always been rather unpopular among Barcelona supporters, yet it is one that the club appear committed to make happen. Even though signing a player of Rabiot’s quality for the rumored transfer fee looks a bargain in the current market, there are several key reasons for why it would not be a good signing.
The first is that Barcelona does not need a midfield squad player given their depth and quality in that position. This depth was evident in their last match by Arthur and Coutinho both starting on the bench. Furthermore, talented young midfielders such as Alena and Puig are starting to break into the team, and Frenkie de Jong also continues to mentioned as a possible target. Given that Valverde already struggles to give the midfielders at his disposal enough minutes, signing another midfielder to compete for places without improving the starting eleven seems an odd transfer to prioritize.
Rabiot’s playing style is also not suited to the way Barcelona likes to play. Two important qualities for a Barcelona midfielder that Rabiot lacks are the ability to move the ball quickly with few touches and being able to dribble or maneuver the ball well in tight spaces. In these aspects, Rabiot is fairly similar to Andre Gomes, who is doing quite well in a different style with Everton but struggled considerably while at Barcelona.
Although the limited transfer fee reduces some of the risk involved, the signing still brings various other concerns. Given the club’s already huge wage bill, a large signing bonus and rumored 10m net wages for Rabiot could further hinder Barcelona’s ability to afford players that it actually needs. In addition, Rabiot’s arrival would restrict the playing time and development of the club’s young midfielders, and potentially lead them to move elsewhere as several other youngsters not playing enough have done.
As demonstrated by his exclusion from the French World Cup squad, Rabiot is also a player with a history of attitude problems. Given that he would likely be on the bench quite often at Barcelona, signing a player known to cause issues when things are not going his way could prove problematic. All things considered, Barcelona would be better off prioritizing a quality center back and replacement for Suarez in the attack.