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France midfielder’s move to Barcelona in 2019 collapsed due to signing bonus demands

On Thursday, reports emerged that Barcelona had been offered an opportunity to secure the signing of Juventus and France midfielder Adrien Rabiot on a free transfer in the summer of 2023.

The 27-year-old is in the final year of his contract with Juventus and has reportedly decided against renewing. And his services have been offered to the Blaugrana, who are in the market for reinforcements in the centre of the park.

This is not the first time that Rabiot has been linked with a move to Barcelona. In fact, according to Xavier Bosch on Mundo Deportivo, the midfielder’s move to Camp Nou was nearly a ‘done deal’ back in 2019 when he was leaving Paris Saint-Germain.

Rabiot had been dead set on leaving PSG and had rejected multiple contract offers from the French club, which resulted in him being frozen out of the team for nearly half a season.

A move to Barcelona was close to being completed as per the report. However, things changed at the last moment, as his mother, who also represents him, suddenly upped the transfer bonus demands to a much higher figure than what was initially agreed upon.

Along with that, Rabiot’s camp also made special requests regarding his playing position, stating that the 27-year-old would be used in one specific position on the pitch – something that then-Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde was not keen on committing to.

That and the Blaugrana’s unwillingness to meet the increased signing bonus demands meant that the move collapsed and Rabiot ended up signing for Juventus on a Bosman deal in 2019.

The midfield ace has had his ups and downs since then, but is seemingly back close to his best of late, shining in the World Cup with France. Whether Barcelona consider making another attempt to sign him next year or pass up the opportunity will be interesting to see.

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