Manchester United scouts watched Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot during France’s Euro 2020 defeat to Switzerland earlier this week, according to reports.
The 26-year-old, who joined Juventus on a free transfer in 2019, played in the unusual left wing-back position during his country’s shock defeat to the Swiss on Monday.
Man United have now switched their attention to other targets in the transfer window after completing the signing of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
According to The Daily Star, scouts from United were present to watch the Frenchman in Bucharest.
Rabiot has been a regular fixture for Juventus over the past year, making 47 appearances in all competitions, along with starting three of France’s four games at Euro 2020 this summer.
He spent seven years in the first team at Paris Saint-Germain, showing many signs of tantalising promise but drawing criticism for his attitude off the pitch.
Rabiot’s temperament has been a frequently mentioned issue in the past, but his sheer quality in the midfield area – the elegance and efficiency of his movement – has never come under question.
Indeed, the fact that both Didier Deschamps and Andrea Pirlo saw Rabiot as an integral part of their starting XIs last season points towards there being something special about the midfielder.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clearly sees the same thing, although monitoring a player is by no means the same as pursuing him.
In United’s case, their focus is likely to sit somewhere else; Raphael Varane, who is nothing short of Real Madrid royalty, has grabbed the headlines in recent times, and if United sign one Frenchman this summer, almost all supporters will hope the defender is the one their club plumps for.
A high-quality central defender who can hold and move the ball with confidence, acting as perfect company for Harry Maguire, seems to be the main priority, now that Sancho is finally over the line.
However, if Rabiot is there for the taking – and with the hard-nosed Massimiliano Allegri back as Juventus manager, the temperamental 26-year-old’s place in the team may well be under threat – United would be foolish to not pass up the opportunity. Paul Pogba, after all, is not sticking around forever.