PSG mid­fielder Rabiot agrees to join Barcelona in sum­mer

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - Soccer -

Paris Saint-Ger­main mid­fielder Adrien Rabiot will join Barcelona on a free trans­fer in the sum­mer.

The 23-year-old’s con­tract runs out then and he has agreed a sign­ing-on fee of ¤10 mil­lion as well as a salary of just over ¤190,000 a week for five years with the La Liga lead­ers.

Barcelona are also con­fi­dent of sign­ing the 19-year-old Toulouse de­fender Jean-Clair Todibo on a free trans­fer in June.

PSG, mean­while, are in pole po­si­tion to sign young Ajax mid­fielder Frenkie de Jong, who had also in­ter­ested Barcelona and Manch­ester City. The French club are in ad­vanced talks with Ajax and are likely to agree a fee in the re­gion of ¤70 mil­lion for the 21-year-old mid­fielder.

Do­minic Solanke has signed for Bournemouth in a ¤19 mil­lion deal, less than 18 months af­ter he joined Liver­pool from Chelsea. The 21-year-old had at­tracted in­ter­est from a num­ber of Premier League clubs this month, in­clud­ing Crys­tal Palace, who pulled out of a loan move for the striker be­cause of con­cerns about his fit­ness in the short term.

Bournemouth, how­ever, were open to sign­ing Solanke on a per­ma­nent ba­sis and Liver­pool ac­cepted an of­fer that could rise with var­i­ous add-ons.

Chelsea are also ex­pected to profit from the trans­fer. It is un­der­stood they had a sell-on clause in­serted as part of the deal that was reached in 2017, af­ter the two clubs even­tu­ally came to an agree­ment with­out the need to go to a tri­bunal.

Solanke fea­tured 27 times for Liver­pool last sea­son, but all ex­cept six of those ap­pear­ances were from the bench and he scored only once, against Brighton on the fi­nal day. He has not played at all this sea­son and has re­cently been re­cov­er­ing from a mi­nor in­jury.

Gifted

A pro­lific goalscorer at youth level, Solanke is highly re­garded within the Eng­land setup and made his se­nior de­but as a sub­sti­tute against Brazil in Novem­ber 2017. His club ca­reer has never re­ally taken off, but both Solanke and Bournemouth will hope that all changes now he has moved to the south coast.

“Do­minic is tech­ni­cally gifted, very ath­letic and has the phys­i­cal pro­file that will give us some­thing dif­fer­ent in our front line,” Ed­die Howe, Bournemouth’s man­ager, said. “He has done very well for Eng­land at var­i­ous age groups, has a huge amount of po­ten­tial and I’m re­ally ex­cited about work­ing with him.”

Solanke will be joined at Bournemouth by Nathaniel Clyne, who has signed on loan from Liver­pool un­til the end of the sea­son hav­ing fallen down the peck­ing or­der at An­field be­hind Trent Alexan­der-Arnold and Joe Gomez. The Eng­land de­fender has played only five times this sea­son and man­aged only a sim­i­lar num­ber in the pre­vi­ous cam­paign be­cause of a back prob­lem. Solanke’s move to the south coast will pave the way for Jer­main De­foe to join Rangers on an 18-month loan.

Chelsea as­sis­tant man­ager Gian­franco Zola has told Cal­lum Hudson-Odoi that his devel­op­ment would be best served at Stam­ford Bridge, rather than Bay­ern Mu­nich, as he urged the 18-year-old to com­mit to the new con­tract on of­fer from the Lon­don­ers.

Hudson-Odoi, who is fit af­ter a ham­string in­jury and in line to start against Not­ting­ham For­est in to­day’s FA Cup tie, is the sub­ject of a ¤33 mil­lion of­fer from Bay­ern, which the club is con­sid­er­ing. The winger has made six ap­pear­ances this sea­son but be­lieves that he mer­its greater op­por­tu­nity. – Guardian

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