Manchester United could face a battle to keep on-loan Bayern Munich midfielder Marcel Sabitzer, with Juventus considering the Austrian as a potential replacement for the outgoing Adrien Rabiot.
A report from Italian outlet Calciomercato claims that the Serie A giants view Sabitzer as an ideal candidate to replace their star midfielder.
Rabiot’s contract is set to expire at the end of the current season and there are no plans, on either side, to renew.
The France international was close to joining Manchester United at the end of last summer’s transfer window, but ultimately a deal never materialised.
It is now thought that the Red Devils could go back in for Rabiot as they look to bolster their midfield options.
An alternative, of course, would be making Sabitzer’s loan move permanent, but United may struggle to do so given Juventus’ interest.
The Serie A giants would be offering a regular first-team spot, something that the former RB Leipzig star would be unlikely to nail down at Old Trafford.
Sabitzer has impressed during his brief stint at the club, but Fred is still Erik ten Hag’s go-to option to partner Casemiro while Christian Eriksen remains side-lined.
Given the sort of fee Bayern Munich would likely expect for Sabitzer, it is unlikely that United would push too hard for a player who, ultimately, would only be third choice in his position.
Of course, that could all change should the midfielder carve out a starting berth during his temporary stay at the club.
But as things stand, making Sabitzer’s deal permanent does not make all that much sense, particularly when a player of Rabiot’s quality would be available on a free.
The World Cup winning midfielder would likely end up as a first choice starter at United, or at the very least a genuine rotation option with Eriksen.
Meanwhile a bidding war for Sabitzer could leave Erik ten Hag’s transfer budget more bruised than he would like, especially given United’s desperate need for a striker.