Manchester United are reportedly ‘working on a deal’ for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder is entering the final 12 months of his contract with the Serie A side and has been linked with both Chelsea and Arsenal this summer.
And David Ornstein of The Athletic now claims the 27-year-old has ’emerged as a leading option’ for United as they look to bolster their midfield options.
It’s not clear whether they will chase Rabiot irrespective of their pursuit of Frenkie de Jong, or whether they will wait to see if they can tie up a deal for the Barcelona star before making a decision on the France international.
They would also need to agree personal terms with Rabiot – valued by Transfermarkt at £15.3m – who is ‘high among a number of candidates’.
United agreed a £71m fee with Barcelona for De Jong last month, but the midfielder has dug his heels in over his deferred salary and reticence to leave the Nou Camp for Old Trafford.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta reiterated a desire to keep De Jong and the player’s desire to stay on Sunday.
Laporta said: “Frenkie de Jong is a Barcelona player of great quality and we want him to stay. With him and his teammates, we have a very powerful midfield.
“He has offers, but we want him to stay and he wants to stay too.”
Erik ten Hag will be desperate to add to his squad as he was brought back down to earth with a bump on Sunday after a promising preseason with United.
They fell to an opening day defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford and were completely outplayed by Graham Potter’s side in the first half.
And United legends Roy Keane and Paul Scholes both implored their former club to sign more players this summer, with central midfield a particular issue that needs to be resolved.
Speaking about the double pivot of Scott McTominay and Fred, Keane told Sky Sports: “The decision making and the football intelligence, in particular from Fred – and I’ve said this for a long time – Fred and McTominay are not good enough. They won’t get Manchester United back competing at the top.
“We see it week in, week out. [They are] not up to it.”
Scholes described the first half showing against Brighton as “shambolic” before agreeing with his former teammate.
He told Premier League Productions: “The quality in the middle of the pitch was really poor.
“I was happy he [McTominay] didn’t get sent-off [for a late challenge], but I think he was slightly lucky. Again, he’s running with the ball, absolutely ridiculous. The quality in the middle of the pitch was nowhere near good enough, but we have seen that for the last few years with these two players.
“With Fred and McTominay, he [Ten Hag] is going to have to play just one of them [moving forward] but even one of them is probably too many. Fred gives the ball away all the time and McTominay tries run with it constantly and then gives it away. Pass it to your best players…
“It’s not that difficult. It’s criminal on a day like today [Sunday afternoon].”
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