Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has been desperate to strengthen his midfield ranks this summer, though his side’s move for Juventus playmaker Adrien Rabiot is reportedly now off. The manager has been vocal about his desire to welcome fresh faces through the door, so the move for the Frenchman potentially being off will be a major blow to his transfer window hopes.
The Red Devils have kickstarted the new season in embarrassing fashion with losses to Brighton and Brentford, prompting Ten Hag to speak openly about his desire to sign players. Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has been heavily pursued since the transfer window opened, but the former Ajax boss is not content with just two midfield recruits – with Christian Eriksen joining previously.
A deal worth £15million was reached with Juventus for wantaway midfielder Rabiot last week, though the move is now dead in the water, according to Manchester Evening News. They report that an agreement between United have pulled out after an ‘obscene’ salary request from the player’s camp.
The transfer is now thought to be off the cards, with the reason cited being the midfielder’s wage demands. Rabiot, whose mum had been leading negotiations with United, is believed to have made the request to the club after football director John Murtough flew to Turin last week in an attempt to close a deal.
Rabiot’s agent is his mother Veronique, known for being a tough negotiator and never shy of openly discussing matters. She has spoken to the press previously after her son was subject to criticism for never hitting the heights that many felt he would at Juventus.
United must now consider other options with a deal for Frenkie de Jong still seeming unrealistic. The club’s agreement with Barcelona, believed to be in the region of £65m, has now expired and negotiations must start again.
However, widespread reports claim De Jong would prefer to join Chelsea if he ends up leaving Barcelona because they can offer Champions League football. Another name mentioned on Tuesday was Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, who the club tried to sign initially 18 months ago. It is early stages yet but United are believed to be ready to open talks to sign the midfielder, according to Fabrizio Romano.
Meanwhile, United’s status as being a side competing in the Europa League has caused them several issues this summer, both in regards to incomings and outgoings. Reports have circulated that players have snubbed moves to the Theatre of Dreams as they will not be able to compete on the very top European stage there, whilst Cristiano Ronaldo is desperate to be sold so that he can add to his impressive records in the Champions League.