One name that has been linked with Manchester United a lot in the press recently is that of Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
But what is the truth of the situation? And why is Rabiot being linked with a move just 10 months after he arrived in Turin on a free transfer from PSG?
At 23 years of age the world seemed to be at the Frenchman’s feet. He was one of the first names on Thomas Tuchel’s team sheet at his home club of PSG and considered one of the best young midfielders in world football.
But then the problems started.
Rabiot was banished to the reserves by the Paris side in December 2018 because he had failed to agree a new contract and was considered a disruptive influence in the dressing room.
Things went from bad to worse in March 2019 when the player was formally suspended for going to a night club and liking a Snapchat post by former United player Patrice Evra.
Evra’s post mocked PSG when United knocked them out of the Champions League, but the French club accused him of homophobia because he called them ‘f—ots’ and ‘pu—-s’. Rabiot, by association for liking the post, was accused of homophobia.
Juventus had appeared to take advantage of the row by picking up the star on a free transfer, but things have not gone according to plan there either.
The Frenchman has started just 17 games for the Turin side and he has struggled to make an impression on either his teammates or the fans.
‘Games seem to pass him by in Italy, and he simply looks incapable of changing the outcome of a match. Not once has Rabiot grabbed a game by the scruff of the neck, and at a club like Juventus, that will not do’ says 90min.com.
‘The Frenchman flits in and out, but his periods of lethargy and ineffectiveness hugely outweigh his measly positive input.’
In December, Juve head coach Maurizio Sarri admitted that Rabiot was not integrating well at the club.
‘He has struggled to settle into our football … He is also quite introverted, which doesn’t help him to settle.’
Rabiot also famously fell out with national team coach Didier Deschamps in 2018 when he was not selected for the French World Cup squad.
So now at age 25, Rabiot’s mother and agent Veronique is actively courting Premier League clubs such as United and Everton in order to relaunch her son’s career yet again and Juventus would be only too glad to get the player off their hands, especially if it can be as part of a deal to bring Pogba back.
For the Red Devils, though, signing Rabiot would represent a huge gamble. The last thing the club needs to do is replace one rebellious and problematic Frenchman with another. But more importantly, Rabiot’s football over the last year would not inspire anyone to take that risk.
If reports are true that ‘United scouts have attended four of the Serie A side’s Champions League fixtures this season to run the rule over Rabiot’, they are likely to not have been impressed with what they saw. One way or another, then, it seems unlikely that mum will get her way and see her son wearing a United shirt next season.
United might have to finish their Premier League season at neutral grounds as the authorities try to ensure player safety. How much do you know about those neither-home-nor-away games the Red Devils have played in the past? Take our quiz below to find out.