Man Utd have been told to expect an influx of drama if they wrap up a move for Adrien Rabiot after a European football expert detailed exactly what they’ll be getting.
The Red Devils have agreed a deal to sign the Juventus midfielder, according to Sky Sports. Personal terms are still to be thrashed out, though the signs all point towards Rabiot becoming a cost-effective addition to Erik ten Hag’s midfield.
The obvious question Man Utd fans might have is what effect will signing Rabiot have on their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong.
The Athletic reported that a decision at United is yet to be made on whether both players can be signed or just one. For now at least, it is not for definite that Rabiot is an out and out alternative to De Jong.
If signed, Rabiot will slot into a midfield that has come in for stinging criticism in recent years.
Indeed, the much maligned Fred-Scott McTominay pairing once again anchored United’s midfield on opening day against Brighton.
The pair struggled and could do little to prevent the Seagulls from registering their first ever win at Old Trafford.
Now, speaking on Sky Sports’ Transfer Talk show, European football expert, Kevin Hatchard, detailed what type of player Rabiot is.
“It’s a really interesting deal,” admitted Hatchard.
“Technically he’s probably better than someone like Fred or Scott McTominay. Maybe he’ll be able to progress the ball a bit better. He plays with intensity as is a bit of a character and somebody who can break up play.
“You look at some of the numbers he’s produced and wonder if he’s that impressive. But when you think of the coaches he’s played under and the teams he’s played for – regular for PSG, Juventus and he’s played under Didier Deschamps with France – and you feel there must be something tangible there that coaches see.
“What we definitely know is that they need quality and bodies in midfield. They don’t have it at the moment.”
Rabiot (and his mother) will bring the drama
Hatchard then explained why he has doubts as to Rabiot’s suitability in a Manchester United rebuild given the “drama” he and his mother, Veronique, will bring.
He was also probed on if Rabiot knows his best position despite already being 27.
“No, I don’t think so,” continued Hatchard.
“He can do a bit of everything and it’ll be interesting to see how Erik ten Hag uses him. Does he want him in the role that McTominay played in against Brighton, pressing the play.
“But there is drama attached to him – there’s no doubt about that. He was on the standby list for the 2018 World Cup and refused to be on it for France.
“He sulked his way out of Paris and left in really acrimonious circumstances. You then have his mother Veronique who provides her own drama.
“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.”
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?