Manchester United have agreed a deal with Juventus to sign Adrien Rabiot, according to multiple reports.
Rabiot has fallen out of favour in Turin and has just one year left on his contract after signing back in 2019, but is now being targeted by United.
Erik ten Hag made a losing start to life in the Premier League against Brighton and is still trying to strengthen his squad with new players, following a lengthy and aimless pursuit of Frenkie de Jong.
Per Sky Sports, the Red Devils are closing in on Rabiot after agreeing a fee with Juve, but are yet to finalise personal terms and continue to negotiate with his agent – his mother.
United appear to have turned to Rabiot as an alternative transfer option to De Jong as a deal to bring the Dutchman to the club from Barcelona continues to stall.
It was widely reported through the summer that a deal had been agreed between United and Barcelona for De Jong, but issues over deferred wages owed to the midfielder and his unwillingness to leave Barcelona have resulted in a saga.
As such, it appears United are now scrambling to get an alternative option over the line and have highlighted 27-year-old Rabiot, although the move has been met with criticism online due to the nature of the pursuit and Rabiot’s previous track record as a player.
Rabiot to Man Utd update (Football Terrace)
Rabiot’s shaky reputation
The Frenchman featured 45 times in all competitions for Juve last season, but underwhelmed massively and is no longer considered a key player for the club. It makes United’s sudden desire to sign him come across as strange, particularly as his contract expires in 2023.
Rabiot is not only considered a rather weak addition to United‘s midfield, but would also arrive with a questionable reputation. His agent and mother – Veronique – has made headlines over the years for a number of off-field antics, which have reflected badly on Rabiot’s already questionable performances.
But while many will have heard of rumours surrounding his mother’s behaviour, she infamously made headlines in 2021 for her explosive attacks on members of the France national team and their families, following their Euro 2020 exit to Switzerland.
The Euro 2020 incident
Didier Deschamps’ side crashed out on penalties in the last 16 to the shock of everyone, but it was Rabiot’s mother who stole the show as reports and footage emerged of her criticising players in the squad, lambasting their families in the stands.
Per a report from News24 following the game in 2021, Rabiot’s mother exploded after the final whistle, delivering scathing summaries of Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe’s performances to their families while in the stands.
Veronique was said to have approached Mbappe’s father about his missed spot kick in the penalty shoot-out, stating: “It is embarrassing how he struck that, for a player of his level. He hit it too lightly. I hope you are going to scold him because he is too arrogant.”
A pretty damning verdict and rather horrific thing to say about Mbappe, to his family, after such a high pressure moment that could just have easily involved her son.
But she didn’t stop there, also lamenting Pogba to his family and appearing to take it too far with them in the stands, which was caught by cameras. Take a look for yourself below.
WATCH: Rabiot’s mother kicks off after France’s Euro 2020 exit
Veronique Rabiot, Adrien's mother, picking a fight with the families of Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe in the stands after France's loss to Switzerland.— Robin Bairner (@RBairner) June 30, 2021
Like this is normal behaviour… 👀#FRA #Euro2020 pic.twitter.com/JfY0NShexv
Again, it’s fair to say that her behaviour is absolutely unacceptable in the above clip.
Tensions are of course high and tempers are bound to flare when a team carrying the hopes of the nation bow out of a tournament much earlier than anticipated. France were seen by many as favourites and their elimination on penalties at the hands of Switzerland was a major shock.
However, it is clear to see that Rabiot’s mother let emotions get the better of her and took the criticisms too far. Looking back, her behaviour was poor and reflected badly on her son, who she officially represents.
United have faced countless problems with dressing room disciplinary issues and leaks, and constantly faced reports of discontent among the squad last season.
Adding a player like Rabiot – who has gained a reputation for being difficult to work with, due to his mother’s behavioural issues – to an already fragile dressing room is a huge risk and one that doesn’t appear to come with much reward in the way of his on-pitch abilities.
However, to write him off completely before a move is even completed would also be unfair. Rabiot seems far from the ideal candidate on paper, but with the bar so low and United in dire need of reinforcements, the 27-year-old could surprise a few.