Manchester United remain confident of adding an “elite player” to their midfield before the transfer window closes.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein has learned that the Red Devils have been unable to agree personal terms over a deal for Adrien Rabiot.
While “a revival cannot be completely ruled out” it is unlikely the Frenchman will sign for the club, following a breakdown in negotiations.
This will certainly be a short-term blow to Erik ten Hag as he desperately fights for midfield reinforcement ahead of a daunting clash with Liverpool on Monday.
However, onlookers concerned by Rabiot’s off-field issues and volatile agent/mother may be more than a little relieved by the news.
The club, according to Ornstein “are thought to be in the final stages of deciding where their budget will be best spent” and are certain they will strengthen considerably.
“Undiminished” in their desire to bring in Frenkie de Jong, The Athletic journalist considers the Dutchman joining United to be “increasingly improbable.”
As for alternative moves, decision-makers at Old Trafford are said to be in “live talks” over other candidates, with Casemiro included among discussions.
Ornstein also claims that many players are being “pushed” as alternatives, citing Moises Caicedo as one such possibility.
With the Ecuadorian having performed incredibly in Brighton and Hove Albion’s win at Old Trafford, he would surely have caught Ten Hag’s eye.
It seems slightly odd that with just over two weeks to go until the transfer deadline, the Manchester United hierarchy are still deciding who to actually move for, but with Erik ten Hag reportedly insistent on signing two top-class midfielders, they may have to hurry their decisions along to complete any deal at all.
With earlier reports indicating that a midfielder of Casemiro’s pedigree could be targeted alongside Frenkie de Jong, there is still hope for fans that United’s greatest on-pitch Achilles heel can be strengthened by September.