Manchester United’s bid to bring Adrien Rabiot to Old Trafford appear to have a second stumbling block amid a new demand from Juventus.
United boss Erik ten Hag has latched on to the France midfielder after seemingly giving up on Frenkie de Jong. The Red Devils have chased the Barcelona midfielder all summer long, but now appear further away than ever before to his signing. To make matters worse, Thursday’s Transfer Gossip claims De Jong will move to Chelsea as part of a huge four-way investment for the London club.
However, for all intents and purposes, their route to signing Rabiot appeared far plainer sailing. Indeed, with the 27-year-old entering the final year of his deal in Turin, Juventus were unwilling to stand in his way over a move.
As such, United have reportedly agreed a fee worth an initial £15m with bonuses taking the deal up to £18m.
But just as his signing looked to be edging closer, the first of their problems emerged on Wednesday. That was amid claims that Rabiot’s mother and agent, Veronique, has raised the wage demands she wants for her son.
To that end, Rabiot snr is now asking for a deal worth £8m (€10m) per season. That equates to some £162,692 per week over a three-year deal. And that is some distance higher than the initial contract worth £6.7m (€8m) per year, or £129,000 a week, they were said to be seeking.
All the same, Ten Hag is seemingly set on his signing, seeing the player has an upgrade on Scott McTominay and Fred. The United boss was forced to start the season with the much-maligned duo in the heart of midfield. And the usual problems were evident for all to see as Brighton recorded a deserved 2-1 victory.
Juventus want Man Utd star in exchange for Adrien Rabiot
That performance has only served to accelerate Ten Hag’s desire to find upgrades for the duo.
Their displays earned the usual condemnation from pundits Roy Keane and Paul Scholes. And it seems Ten Hag was equally unimpressed, quickly springing into life over Rabiot.
To that end, Ten Hag has already held talks with the player over his role in the United side.
And with director of football John Murtough boarding a flight to Italy for talks, it seemed a move was gathering pace nicely.
However, with Mrs Rabiot upping her wage demands to United, a second problem has now been reported.
Indeed, as per Gianluca Di Marzio, Juventus have stunned United by requesting Anthony Martial as part of the deal.
The attacker has long been on Juventus’ radar and they have considered a move to sign him in the past.
Now though, they are looking to bring him to the Allianz Stadium. The Bianconeri are reportedly looking for more firepower to play alongside Dusan Vlahovic. And Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri has reportedly set his sights on Martial.
United have a decision to make
Juventus would obviously need to pay United a cash adjustment if they were to sign Martial.
He is contracted to the Red Devils until 2024 and is rated in the £25m – £30m bracket.
The other issue for Ten Hag is that Martial has rediscovered what looks his best form this summer. He was looking sharp in pre-season and was in line for a start against Brighton until injury ruled him out.
And with Manchester United lacking a threat up front themselves, they will need to make a decision over whether to sacrifice Martial.
The club’s top scorer last season was Cristiano Ronaldo, though his future remains shrouded in mystery too.
Is Adrien Rabiot really the answer to Manchester United’s midfield woes?
With reports emerging that a fee has been agreed with Juventus for the Frenchman, is Adrien Rabiot really the answer to Manchester United’s midfield issues?
He currently earns £250,000 a week so would need a serious drop in wages to join Juve.
And ultimately, Ten Hag may have to decide which of Adrien Rabiot or Anthony Martial are most important to him.