Real Madrid may not be interested in signing Adrien Rabiot after all, despite reports from France that they have already verbally agreed a deal to sign him this summer.
What is clear is that Rabiot will leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer after turning down the chance to extend his contract in the French capital back at the end of last year.
The 24-year-old midfielder, who joined PSG's youth ranks in 2010 after spells with a variety of clubs including Manchester City, has since been frozen out of the picture at the Parc des Princes, with his last appearance a seven-minute cameo against Crvena Zvezda in the Champions League on 11 December.
Barcelona were initially touted as his most likely next destination, with talk of a pre-contract agreement rumoured back in February. However, Barça interest in Rabiot has since gone cold, with most speculating that the signing of Frenkie de Jong has negated the need for the Frenchman, who would reportedly demand wages of around €10m-a-year at his next club.
Almost all of the Premier League's 'big six' have been mooted for Rabiot (with differing levels of credibility) but in recent days Barça's great rivals Real Madrid appeared as frontrunners for his signing.
Catalan outlet SPORT suggested last week that Rabiot was on the brink of a deal with Madrid, before journalist Geoffroy Garetier, speaking on Late Football Club on Canal+, on Wednesday claimed there is a 'verbal agreement' between the player, his representatives and the 13-time European champions.
However, after that report was widely picked up on Thursday morning, Madrid-based Marca weighed in to deny those suggestions, claiming even that Real Madrid are 'not interested' in the player.
Real Madrid appear set for a summer makeover as they look to move on from a hugely disappointing season (they've won only the Club World Cup in 2018/19 after all), with nearly everyone of value from Eden Hazard to Christian Eriksen to Sadio Mane linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu. Yet, Rabiot is apparently not an option.
This suggestion leaves the door open for Rabiot's other previously named suitors from Liverpool to Tottenham. However, wages and signing on fee may be off-putting for any would-be takers.
In addition, Rabiot's well-publicised disciplinary issues are cause for concern. The midfielder was frozen out from the France international team after refusing to be on the standby list for the World Cup and is also facing disciplinary action from PSG for going clubbing the night the club were dramatically knocked out of the Champions League by Manchester United.