Thomas Tuchel has emphasised his “love” for working with Adrien Rabiot but the Paris Saint-Germain coach also admitted that he has “no influence over the rest” as the midfielder is chased by Barcelona, Manchester City and Liverpool.
Rabiot, 23, is into the final 12 months of his contract and sources have told ESPN FC that the France international’s mother and agent Veronique has been in contact with Liverpool as talks involving PSG sporting director Antero Henrique and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi are yet to prove fruitful.
“I really like Adrien, really,” Tuchel told RMC. “I appreciate him.
“There was a difficult situation after the World Cup that he missed but Adrien has showed incredible willingness from the first day of training. He has never missed a training session, not a single thing — we can really trust him and count on him.
“Adrien is good, physically, and he is essential for us. He has huge potential, which is also true of Alphonse [Areola]. Adrien comes from the youth academy and it is very important to have players like him here, to encourage them, support them and place them at the heart of the project.
“I love working with Adrien and I have no influence over the rest.”
Midfield was one of the areas targeted by Tuchel when he was appointed PSG manager and a replacement for Thiago Motta in the middle is something Henrique has failed to address over the past two summers.
Tuchel, 45, conceded that he was not satisfied by this summer’s transfer dealings, which saw Juan Bernat and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting added to his squad late on.
“I am not 100 percent satisfied with the summer transfer window, to be honest with you,” he said. “It was no secret that we were looking for a No. 6.
“We were looking to replace Thiago and his personality. For a No. 6 at PSG, you need talent and a very big personality. We could not do it — in the end, we ran out of time.
“Now, we have 100 percent confidence in this squad and these players — we are looking forward.”
Because of the failure to replace Motta, Tuchel has moved Marquinhos into the midfield and the German suggested that it could be a lasting switch.
“Marquinhos is very different to Giovani [Lo Celso],” Tuchel said. “He has the qualities we are looking for — he is fast and strong in his head.
“A player who sacrifices himself willingly is really important. We see that with players like [Real Madrid’s] Casemiro, [Liverpool’s] Fabinho, [Chelsea’s] N’Golo Kante and [Barcelona’s] Sergio Busquets — this is what sets this position apart.
“I think that Marquinhos has a lot of the qualities that make his predestined to play in this role.”