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When Rabiot was in City's headlights...

Byline: STUART BRENNAN @StuBrennan

AFTER six years in the Paris STUART BRENNANhis way around toplevel football.

But the France international could easily have wound up at City had fate taken a different turn.

The 25-year-old made his name at PSG as the consummate midfielder, with a little bit of everything but not quite enough of any one thing to be regarded as world class.

Still, Rabiot would not have been out of place in Blues squads in which Gareth Barry, James Milner and now Rodri have all thrived.

Back in 2008, at the age of 13, Rabiot rocked up in Manchester with his mum, Veronique, having been invited by City scouts who spotted his potential while he was still at the French national academy at Clairefontaine - the talent factory which produced Thierry Henry, Kylian Mbappe, and Nicolas Anelka among many more.

This was a year before Fifa tightened its regulations on minors moving countries - in 2008, under-16 footballers could still move from country to country within the European Union.

Rabiot explained how he came to be training at Platt Lane, in a sixmonth stay.

"During the last entry course at Clairefontaine, Manchester City recruiters were present," he said.

"They told my mum they were interested in my profile. We made the decision to go to England. Everything was going well, but after six months, the club did not respect certain agreements, so my mother said 'Stop' and we went home."

Rabiot's mum was his agent - his dad was stricken by a stroke in 2007 which left him with lockedin syndrome, and Veronique took over looking after the boy's football career.

Manchester my mum interested Adrien "From an early age, she followed me everywhere, in England, in the south of France," said Rabiot, who spent a season at Pau after leaving City.

But Veronique was unhappy after the six-month stay with the Blues - she says they failed to honour agreements, but City claim she wanted assurances which would have seen them breach Fifa rules.

The upshot was that Rabiot left, and after his spell at Pau was picked up as a 15-year-old by PSG.

He was promoted to the firstteam squad by Carlo Ancelotti and after a spell on loan at Toulouse, his career really took off.

He has landed four league titles, five French Cups and five French League Cups with the Parisian giants.

City told they were in my profile Rabiot his international career has not flourished - his refusal to go on the stand-by list for the 2018 World Cup squad has pretty much brought his international career to a halt.

His relationship with PSG also soured, as he made it plain he would not sign a new deal and was thrust out in the cold for the second half of last season.

His contract expired and he joined Juventus.

Manchester City told my mum they were interested in my profile Adrien Rabiot


Adrien Rabiot and, below left, in action for PSG against City

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:STUART BRENNAN @StuBrennan
Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Apr 7, 2020
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