Manchester United have agreed a fee in principle with Juventus for midfielder Adrien Rabiot, which could rise to £20 million, but must still work out personal terms with the player’s agent, his mother.
According to sources, Rabiot’s mother, Veronique, is the “only stumbling block,” as United must agree on satisfactory personal terms.
Despite agreeing a €85 million fee with Barcelona last month, it is understood that United accepted late last week that they needed to pursue alternative midfielders to Frenkie de Jong.
United’s pursuit of De Jong has not been abandoned, according to club sources, but fall-back targets are being kept “warm” as a deal for De Jong is still in the works.
Rabiot, 27, is in the final year of his contract with Juventus, which has strengthened its midfield in recent years with the additions of Manuel Locatelli, Denis Zakaria, and Paul Pogba.
Rabiot started 28 games for Juventus last season, including six in the Champions League, but he only joined the club after Massimiliano Allegri resigned as coach in 2019. Allegri returned to Juventus last year.
Rabiot has always wanted to play for a Premier League club, and United have been interested in him since Louis van Gaal was manager.
Veronique Rabiot, Rabiot’s mother and agent, encouraged United to make a bid for her son in the 2014 summer transfer window after a deal with Roma fell through.
United kept an eye on Rabiot in 2019, but their failure to qualify for the Champions League made any potential move prohibitively expensive, and he joined Juventus on a free transfer from PSG.
Veronique Rabiot has earned a reputation in France as a battle-axe, having once confronted PSG coach Laurent Blanc in a car park.
When it became clear that Rabiot had decided to leave PSG, club chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi was relieved that the club would no longer have to deal with his mother.
United must let Ronaldo leave – Wayne Rooney
Former Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney has said that the club must let Cristiano Ronaldo leave if they are to build a successful team for the future under new manager Erik ten Hag.
“I think United should let Cristiano Ronaldo go. It’s not that Ronaldo can’t play in a Ten Hag team. He can play in any team,” Rooney, who now manages Major League Soccer side DC United, wrote in a column for the Times.
“Ronny will always score you goals. But my personal view is that United aren’t ready to challenge for the title now, so the aim has to be to build a team that can win the league in the next three to four years, and you have to plan for that.”