Transfer exclusive: Man Utd ‘firmly in the mix’ to sign dominant Serie A midfielder but battling quartet of Premier League rivals

Transfer exclusive: Man Utd ‘firmly in the mix’ to sign dominant Serie A midfielder but battling quartet of Premier League rivals

Dusan Vlahovic, Federico Chiesa, Adrien Rabiot, Juventus, February 2023

TEAMtalk have been told that Manchester United remain firmly in the mix to sign an experienced Serie A midfielder this summer but will face a fight with four other Premier League clubs for his signature.

Erik ten Hag is known to want to strengthen his engine room this season, with Casemiro and Christian Eriksen both the wrong side of 30 while rumours persist that Newcastle will launch a bid to sign Scott McTominay this summer.

To that end, a number of names have been linked with a move to Old Trafford, including the likes of Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount and long-term target Frenkie de Jong.

However, we’ve been told that Juventus star Adrien Rabiot is still very much on Ten Hag’s radar.

The 27-year-old, who joined the Italian giants in 2019, is out of contract in the summer and is also being heavily linked with Liverpool.

However, transfer insider Graeme Bailey has given an update on the France international’s current situation in Turin.

Bailey said: “Adrien Rabiot’s situation is fascinating, he is a very interesting option for a lot of clubs.

“He gets a lot of criticism from fans, mainly on-line, due to his pay packet – which is not his fault. But within the game he is very highly thought of.

“Manchester United went for him in January and they remain firmly in the mix, as do Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle – if he does indeed have the desire to move, he will not be short of interest.

“But that is one of the main issues here, all the interested parties in England are not 100% convinced that he wants to leave Italy or at the very least that he wants to play in the Premier League.

“Staying at Juventus is a realistic option, but he could be one of the best Bosman frees this summer.”

Liverpool already warned against Rabiot deal

Rabiot is certainly a man in demand, although one Serie A expert claims clubs should steer clear of the Frenchman.

Italian journalist Gabriele Marcotti has already warned Liverpool fans that Rabiot is not the answer to the problems their midfield has faced this season.

Speaking on ESPN FC’s YouTube channel, Marcotti said: “Rabiot was, I think, one of my least favourite players for a number of years. Just because you look at his ability, the whole package and everything, and you think, wow, he should be really good.

“Instead, I think at Juve mostly, he’s been really poor. Until this season when all of a sudden, and I think it coincided with an uptick with the French national team as well, he’s shown a ton of personality, he’s shown a ton of responsibility.

“He’s been, I think, one of Juve’s standouts this season. What you have to weigh up [for] anybody signing Rabiot is, is this kind of a one-season wonder for him where all the bits come together, or has he turned the corner?”

While those comments could well send alarm bells to Premier League suitors, they are all more likely to trust their own scouting systems than the words of an Italian journalist.

And when a player with proven international experience becomes available for nothing, it’s likely to produce a transfer scramble that United will hope they can win.

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