Manchester United’s futile attempts at trying to get new manager Erik ten Hag his preferred midfielder was very well-documented.
For over three months, the Red Devils tried to get Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong to sign on the dotted lines but in the end, the protracted chase ended in defeat.
A mixture of deferred wages owed to the player by Barca and De Jong’s own wish to stay and fight for his place meant United had to eventually look elsewhere.
The English giants tried to get Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot next and a deal was quickly struck between both clubs. But his mother and agent’s wage demands meant the deal ultimately stalled.
🚨 Manuel Locatelli rejected a move to Manchester United over the summer as he wanted to stay at Juventus [Calciomercato] pic.twitter.com/r1ltv4fEqf
— Transfersgalaxy (@transfersgalaxy) October 1, 2022
Italian outlet Calcio Mercato have now claimed that Rabiot was not United’s first-choice among Bianconeri players as they had first spoken to Manuel Locatelli to gauge his level of interest regarding a move to the Premier League.
The report adds that the Italian midfielder did not want to leave so soon after joining The Old Lady and wanted to establish himself in Turin.
The 24-year-old has not had the best of times since signing from Sassuolo last season. He is yet to establish himself as a starter under Massimiliano Allegri.
Interestingly, he is the subject of interest from Premier League clubs Newcastle United and Arsenal. Juventus will only consider parting ways with Locatelli for €40 million.
Locatelli move failed
Once United received Locatelli’s response, they shifted their attention to his midfield partner Rabiot.
In the end, after a whirlwind round of negotiations, the 20-time English champions ended up signing Real Madrid’s midfield destroyer Casemiro for £70million.
The Brazilian is yet to start a game in the league but has showed his class during his cameo appearances off the bench. It might take some time for the Brazil international to get used to the pace of the Premier League.
His arrival has spurred on Scott McTominay who has put in impressive displays in each game, with Ten Hag remarking how difficult it was to drop him to the bench.
United will still look to add a midfielder next summer with reports stating that De Jong and English sensation Jude Bellingham top the list of potential targets.
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