Barcelona’s optimism about signing midfielder shaken as Man City and Chelsea bid – report

Barcelona are trying to close a deal for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot, but the optimism they had before Christmas is starting to waver, Marca reports.

The Catalan giants have been hopeful of signing two midfielders linked with City, Rabiot and Ajax’s Frenkie de Jong, with claims in Catalonia that De Jong has agreed terms with Barcelona but contradicting stories from France saying he’s agreed terms with PSG.

Rabiot had seemed a more straightforward deal for Barcelona, but it is now claimed that Manchester City, Chelsea and Bayern Munich have made offers for the player, which has shaken Barça’s belief that they will land the French international.

Barcelona will pay Rabiot €10 million per season and a signing-on fee of the same amount to join in June, when his PSG contract expires. However, clubs such as City, Chelsea and Bayern are willing to match those terms, Marca claims.

In-the-know PSG source, Paris United, states Rabiot could leave in the January transfer window if any club is willing to cough up €15 million (£13.4 million).

Barcelona are worried of another soap opera developing, similar to the Antoine Griezmann fiasco last summer where they thought they had signed the Atletico Madrid star before he decided to stay.

Rabiot, who spent time in the City academy as a youth, is hot property with his contract running down and City may sense the opportunity to get their next ‘No. 6’ without spending a fortune.

Guardiola ruled out splashing out a huge sum on a central midfielder in his pre-Wolves press conference, responding to Wolves’ £100 million valuation of Ruben Neves – another midfielder linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium.

“A month ago, I started reading ‘Ruben Neves, £100 million’. That is not going to happen,” said Guardiola. “We are not going to pay £100 million for a holding midfielder.

“Specifically Fernandinho’s role, it’s so difficult to find. He knows the Premier League, after three years together here, he knows everything and that’s so important. But of course, for the next season, it’s an important target to find. He’ll be 34 and cannot play every few days.”

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