As we move into 2019, still full of Christmas cheer and far too many mince pies and turkey, the winter transfer window finally opens its doors.

Generally quieter than its summer counterpart, there has been the odd deal in the past which has boosted the coffers of one or two clubs during January.

Think Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona or Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid. Both Liverpool and Chelsea lost decent attackers but were handsomely remunerated.

One team that doesn’t need anyone’s euros is Paris Saint-Germain, and it’s perhaps why they’ve reacted with anger to Barcelona’s incessant courting of Adrien Rabiot.

Though the 23-year-old isn’t bothered about making friends in high places – witness his decision to pull out of the French World Cup party and refuse to be on standby after not making the final 23 – Rabiot is, nevertheless, a high-quality exponent.

Worth north of €50m in today’s money, his box to box nature, high level of intensity and accuracy in the pass make him precisely the type of workhorse that Barcelona need.

On Sunday, the Catalans were forced to make a statement in which they accepted that there had been contact with PSG regarding Rabiot, but they’d flatly denied any agreement had been reached with the player.

That’s as maybe, but Bet Victor have Barca as favourites to get any deal over the line with the youngster, and current odds are at 7/4.

Liverpool, however, are one of a handful of clubs that are also monitoring developments with a view to hijacking any deal in the same way as Barca themselves did with Malcom, who was known to be about to board a plane for Italy to sign for Roma before an 11th hour about turn last summer.

It’s alleged that Barcelona will offer Rabiot a €10m signing on bonus and will sweeten PSG with a small fee in order to get him in January. The French club may still play hard ball and wait until the midfielder’s contract runs out in the summer before releasing him.

In the meantime, he’d be left to rot on the bench.

Should they let him go in January,  he’ll be ineligible for Barca in the Champions League – as Coutinho was this time last year – but there is some sense to a winter capture.

The Blaugrana are looking good in every competition at the moment, but as they get to the business end, a stated aim of winning the Champions League again will come to the fore.

In order to keep competitive in La Liga and the Copa del Rey, assuming they’re still in the latter, the likes of Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic will be crying out for some down time, ready to give their all in European football’s premiere competition.

To those supporters who continue to suggest that Rabiot isn’t a ‘Barca type’ player, a look at Paulinho’s first six months at the club and Arturo Vidal’s excellence at present should be enough for them to eat humble pie.

With many years ahead of him before he theoretically reaches his playing peak, Barcelona should see him playing the best years of his career at the Camp Nou.

Even if it weren’t to work out, the Catalans will have only dipped their toes in the water financially.

Rabiot to sign for Barcelona before 2nd February 2019

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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