The impact of PSG’s defeat to Manchester United cannot be underestimated.
Diogo Dalot’s shot hitting Presnel Kimpembe’s arm, and the resultant penalty sending Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team through has had all kinds of ramifications.
One of those is making Adrien Rabiot’s situation at PSG even worse. Refusing to sign a new contract, the midfielder has been linked with many clubs, including Manchester United themselves, but has yet to agree a deal with anyone.
He won’t be staying at PSG, that’s pretty certain.
The footballer’s mother, Veronique, has given a lengthy interview to L’Equipe, and one of the questions was whether Rabiot has become a ‘scapegoat’ for supporters, especially since the Manchester United match.
She’s certain that’s the case: “It’s very clear. There’s a smoke-shield with Adrien. They attack him to not face the real problems. I think that PSG, instead of dealing with the fact that Adrien went to a nightclub on March 6th in the evening, should be more concerned about their real problems. But it’s easier to talk about us, to make the news around Adrien, than to face the facts, to find solutions for this club to be efficient and effective on the pitch.
“One really wonders why the Parisian leaders are trying to get him to re-sign, if he’s really such a bad boy! But you can ask all coaches, starting with Carlo Ancelotti, who launched him, if Adrien is not a true professional. I had three interviews with Mr. Ancelotti, who took him out at seventeen. He always told me that Adrien was a real pro.”
Veronique was asked generally about the nightclub trip, and also about Rabiot ‘liking’ a social media post from Patrice Evra following the Manchester United match: “Already, on the video that he’s been reproached over sharing, it is not the one that they try to make believe. This is not the one where Patrice Evra “celebrates” the elimination of Paris.
“Afterwards, there is this nightclub outing… But PSG wants to take care of Adrien’s private life too, when they do not want him to play anymore! They want him to put on his pyjamas at nine o’clock, before the game, in front of his TV, to go to bed at eleven o’clock! These people do not know the rhythm of life of the players? When a player plays, which is his job, he has a training rhythm. There, nothing happens for Adrien.
“Adrien is not taking up pottery until it happens. He must take care of himself, let him live! He is criticised for going out when they do not want to play him anymore. It’s contradictory. It is not possible to lock him up. He must use all the energy he has in him, which he no longer uses. He releases it that way. We must bear all that is happening and said around him.”
PSG pay their players partly in bonuses related to their behaviour, and these are withheld, like a fine, if they don’t hit the required standard.
Rabiot has faced several since he refused to renew his contract.
Asked about this, his mother said: “There have been several. The last one in January… And they remove this one on the pretext that he did not go to training in Qatar (from Sunday 13th to Thursday 17th January). But his grandmother had died and his father was dying.
“My mother died on January 5th. She was buried on the 11th. Adrien should have gone to Qatar… And then I was reproached for not having asked quickly enough to release him… And then he got rid of his ethics bonus… but it’s sordid. The team left on Sunday for Doha. Adrien’s grandmother was buried on Friday. And, even if Adrien had gone to Qatar on Sunday, I would have had to call on Monday to tell the club to send him back quickly…”
L’Equipe asked why…
“As early as Monday morning, I received a call from the American Hospital doctor who warned me that Adrien’s dad’s situation was deteriorating sharply. He said to me, “The father of the boys is very bad, I think it’s the end…” How can we blame him and punish him for not having gone to Qatar with two deaths in 20 days? His grandmother died on the 5th. His dad on the 25th. And his ethics bonus is taken away from him. And he was also removed five days of salary of this trip to Qatar. Plus the ethics bonuses of November and December.”
Another “fine” came when Rabiot was six minutes late for a team meeting, having been sleeping in his room at the team hotel: “There are players who are missing for six minutes because of a nap, and others who are injured but who can go to party halfway around the world, at the carnival in Rio.”
Asked about the future, Rabiot’s mother explained: “Everyone says that we have already signed with a club. But we did not sign anywhere! We really did not have the opportunity to worry about it. At the end of last year, I said that I would not speak with any club before January 1st. I have been out of this world for over two months, with all our misfortunes. There are priorities in life. They were elsewhere for us.”
On calls from agents, she said: “Not that much. Some have realised that our personal situation is difficult. I dare to believe that there are still some elegant people in this environment. I may have the weakness to believe it.”
L’Equipe asked whether the footballer is a prisoner at PSG, the response (which has provided the headline for the French newspaper) was strong: “It’s not just an impression. Adrien is a prisoner. He’s even a hostage to PSG. Soon it’s dry bread, water and dungeon! This environment is cruel… A footballer is made to play, not to stay in the closet. Adrien has not played since December, and probably until June. Brought back to a professional career, six months is huge! He is taken hostage because he does not want to re-sign while he is only respecting his contract. Adrien asks only that: to respect his contract.”
Adrien Rabiot is currently banned from PSG’s training centre, and is training alone, with Veronique unwilling to tell L’Equipe more about that.
Manchester United were linked to Adrien Rabiot by Paris United last August, and there’s been several claims since then. In February they were linked by the Spanish media, with relation to Barcelona interest in the player.