Laurent Blanc pleased to see Adrien Rabiot sign new contract with PSG
Laurent Blanc has stated his delight that Arsenal target Adrien Rabiot has signed a four-year contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain, but admitted he thought the promising teenager would leave the club.
Rabiot, 19, had seemed destined to depart the French champions without kicking a ball for them this season after rejecting an extension to his previous deal -- which was due to end next June -- during the summer.
Linked to Arsenal and Roma, the midfielder, who featured in 25 Ligue 1 games but made just 12 starts last season, was seeking more playing time and higher wages, according to widespread media reports.
As a result, he was left out of Blanc's matchday squads with PSG unhappy about potentially losing such a talent for nothing, particularly after Kingsley Coman had left for Juventus under similar circumstances in the summer.
However, after penning his extension last week, Rabiot was given a place on the bench for PSG's 1-0 Champions League win over APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday, and Blanc is pleased the issue has finally been resolved.
"There was a difficult situation for everyone. For him, undoubtedly, and for us too," he is quoted as saying by Foot Mercato. "We got to a stage where it was difficult to imagine a happy ending for everyone. Finally, we did manage that, because he signed for four more years. It's a very good thing for him and for PSG."
Already competing with Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi for a place in Blanc's preferred three-man midfield, Rabiot found himself pushed further down the pecking order with the arrival Yohan Cabaye in January, and Javier Pastore's repositioning in a deeper role this season.
Cabaye, however, has struggled for form of late, giving Rabiot an opportunity to edge ahead of the former Newcastle man, although Blanc warned the youngster there is work to be done before he achieves that status.
"The development of his situation led him to sign a four-year contract with PSG," he said. "After that, he joined the squad and is available, if I wish to use him. It gives me an extra player, which is not a bad thing. And he's also a boy I like a lot.
"But he's behind, he's lacking match practice. He will have to make it up by playing bits of games and using the domestic competitions, such as the Coupe de la Ligue and the Coupe de France, which will give him playing time."