Clement Lenglet and Arthur have also arrived in Catalonia this summer from Sevilla and Gremio respectively, but the departure of club legend Andres Iniesta for pastures new in Japan has left Barcelona short of creativity in the middle of the park.
Paulinho has also departed, re-joining Guangzhou Evergrande just one year on from his switch from China to the La Liga champions last summer. Those departures have left something of a void in Barca’s midfield, and PSG’s Adrien Rabiot has emerged as a prime target.
That is according to Spanish publication Sport, who have reported that Barcelona’s recently appointed sporting director Eric Abidal has met with PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi to discuss a potential deal for Rabiot.
Also on the agenda during the discussions was an apparent will to improve relations between the two clubs following reported fallouts over various transfer dealings, namely the world-record move which saw Neymar switch from Catalonia to Paris last summer.
Barcelona’s interest in Rabiot was allegedly the hot topic of conversation between Al-Khelaifi, with whom Abidal is said to be friends, and the former Barcelona defender.
It is said that despite PSG’s lack of will to sell the Frenchman, Barca’s interest in signing the midfielder has persisted. There is an apparent ‘basis of a deal’ in place with the player, according to Sport, but Barca must now resolve their issues with PSG in order to seal the transfer.
The Parisians are seeking to tie Rabiot down to a new contract but have as yet failed to agree terms with the 23-year-old, and that could play in to Barcelona’s hands, as PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel has apparently stated that the final decision lies with Rabiot.