Manchester United have reportedly been left stunned after Adrien Rabiot’s mother and agent – the notoriously-tough Veronique Rabiot – raised the bar over her son’s transfer to Old Trafford.
United manager Erik ten Hag has endured a highly-frustrating transfer window thus far. While he has three signings to his name, the failure to get the Frenkie de Jong deal over the line is a big source of frustration. Ten Hag has identified the midfield as an area of obvious weakness in the United ranks.
But getting a deal over the line for De Jong has proved anything but easy. While they have struck a fee with Barcelona, which could reach £73m, persuading De Jong to leave Barcelona has been hugely problematic.
That lack of progress – together with the summer losses of Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata – leaves United light of options in that area.
As such, it was little surprise to see having to start their new era with the familar ‘McFred’ axis which has been much-maligned in recent seasons.
And the pair came in for even more stick as a disappointing performance saw United beaten 2-1 at home by Brighton in their opener.
That defeat has seemingly highlighted Ten Hag’s desire to get some new names through the door. To that end, the Red Devils have quickly latched on to Juventus midfielder Rabiot instead.
The France midfielder has just a year left on his deal and the Bianconeri are happy to sanction his sale.
To that end, United have reportedly agreed an initial fee worth £15m, with add-ons potentially taking the deal up to £18m. As per reports, that will be worth a further £1m a season to Juventus for each year United finish in the top four.
Adrien Rabiot mother moves the goalposts
With an agreement in place, officials from United held what initial talks with Veronique Rabiot on Tuesday. And while no agreement was reached, it was claimed the talks were largely ‘positive’ with an agreement seemingly close.
However, it seems Rabiot snr has now increased her initial demands over the proposed move. Indeed, il Gazzetta dello Sport claims Rabiot is now seeking a package worth £8m (€10m) per season. That equates to some £162,692 per week over a three-year deal.
That is some distance higher than the money United were initially believed Rabiot was demanding. Per Tuesday’s update, the 27-year-old midfielder was looking to match his Juve wages, worth £6.7m (€8m) per year or £129,000 a week. That arrangement would also have seen Rabiot secure a bonus payment for each and every year United qualified for the Champions League.
However, Mrs Rabiot now wants more of a guaranteed salary up front for her son. Her new proposal puts United in a bit of a dilemma over the best course of action.
Ten Hag has, though, seemingly set his sights on signing Rabiot. To that end, talks have been held with the player over his role in their side.
That said, even with the new demands, Rabiot would be far from the highest earner at Manchester United. That currently falls upon Cristiano Ronaldo, who takes home an estimated £500,000 a week. Below him, David De Gea (£375,000), Jadon Sancho (£350,000) and Antony Martial (£250,000) all earn much higher.
United given a warning as Juventus close on Rabiot replacement
Truth be told, United may have seen the situation with Rabiot coming. To that end, they were handed a fierce warning over how Veronique is a tough negotiator.
That’s certainly the view of Kevin Hatchard, an expert in European football. And he has explained how Rabiot and his mother are notoriously difficult people to deal with.
“…there is drama attached to him – there’s no doubt about that,” Hatchard told the Sky Sports Transfer Talk show. “He was on the standby list for the 2018 World Cup and refused to be on it for France.
“Adrien Rabiot sulked his way out of Paris and left in really acrimonious circumstances. You then have his mother Veronique who provides her own drama.
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“When the French went out of the European Championships, she was with the other parents of players and started laying into Paul Pogba’s parents, Kylian Mbappe’s parents, saying ‘they should be playing better, you should have a word with them’.
“She brings here own drama, as well as Adrien.”
Juventus, meanwhile, are reportedly closing in on a replacement for Rabiot. Per reports, Juve are closing on a deal for PSG midfielder Leandro Parades.