Paris Saint-Germain are set to romp to their sixth Ligue 1 title in seven seasons in 2018/19, with Les Parisiens currently 20 points clear at the top of the France top tier after 28 games.
Success has swamped PSG since being backed by Qatar Sports Investments in 2011, alongside high-profile signings such as Kylian Mbappe and Neymar arriving in the French capital.
One person who has to watch on from the sidelines, however, is midfielder Adrien Rabiot who is set to end his nine years in Paris in the most undignified manner.
Rabiot hasn’t been anywhere near the first-team squad since a seven-minute Champions League cameo against Red Star Belgrade on December 11th, and hasn’t played the full 90 minutes since a 1-1 draw with Strasbourg a week earlier.
After starting in all of the opening eight games of the 2018/19 league season, the Frenchman was benched indefinitely by the club and manager Thomas Tuchel at the tail end of last year after failing to enter contract negotiations. GFFN reports that he has been suspended from the club entirely until March 27th after going out clubbing on the night PSG went out of the Champions League to Manchester United.
In his own purgatory, Rabiot will almost certainly leave the club but absolutely nothing in June.
The 23-year-old has been completely exiled from first-team training, with a pack of high-profile vultures from across the continent waiting in the sidelines for his signature. One of his staunch supporters throughout the slogging saga which has ran throughout the season is mother Veronique.
“My son is a prisoner at PSG," she told L'Equipe.
"The only thing he (Rabiot) has asked is to complete his contract and that it is respected,"
"They fined him for not travelling to Qatar when his grandmother died and his father was dying. He is a hostage."
A hostage situation. We take a look at some other high-profile names who have been held ‘prisoner’ by the clubs before finding the exit.
Virgil Van Dijk
Liverpool’s illegal interest in the summer 2017 was swiftly followed by the Dutch defender announcing to Southampton that he wished to leave the south-coast. This was followed by Van Dijk being removed from first team training amid concerns for his psychological state.
Threatened with legal action, Liverpool had to drop their pursuit. The Reds finally got their man less than six months later, but had to pay £75million to prise him away from Saint Mary’s.
The forward had been West Bromwich’s Albion top-scorer in the 2010/11 season after moving from Lokomotiv Moscow. Two years later, things soured dramatically between the Baggies and Odemwingie after the club refused to enter into negotiations with Queens Park Rangers in January 2013.
Then came CarParkGate outside Loftus Road.
After those deadline day dramatics and transfer request, the former Nigerian international make just one further start in the league, for the rest of the season reduced to bitty cameos. He was out on his ear in September for Cardiff City.
Those pictures on Sky Sports will never go away.
A peculiar The two years at Old Trafford were the most successful of the runty Argentinian’s career. Immediately after moving on a two-year ‘loan deal’ (we’re still trying to fathom the ins and outs of this shambles) from West Ham, winning the Premier League title and Champions League in his first season.
The details and instability of the Argentinian’s contract was slowly revealed with it emerging that the fan favourite could soon be leaving the club at the end of the 08/09 season, exacerbated by apparent displacement by record-signing Dimitar Berbatov who had arrived the summer before.
It soon became the talking point towards the latter end of the season, even as Man United collected their third successive Premier League title. ‘Fergie, Fergie signed him up’ continued to reverberate and echo around the Theatre of Dreams, growing in volume as Tevez started to make his goodbyes.
By moving across town to Manchester City, the shouts were soon very different. There are two sides to every story, but we’re still waiting for Tevez to learn English to tell his accurately.