Manchester United have agreed on a fee with Juventus for midfielder Adrien Rabiot as Erik ten Hag looks set to bolster the squad.
Discussions are currently at an early stage in terms of personal terms, but with Juventus happy to sell the midfielder, a move might not be far off.
Following the arrival of the Dutchman, it looked like Manchester United were going to begin the season with a newfound optimism not seen since 2016 when Jose Mourinho took over. The opening day defeat to Brighton certainly threw a spanner in the works for Ten Hag’s vision and he will need to go back to the drawing board.
While poor in defence and ineffective in attack, the midfield area appears to be a priority for the manager to strengthen and Rabiot could be an interesting signing.
Although Pogba’s time at United was something of a controversial period, his performances at Juventus between 2012-2016 and for the French national team proved that he was one of the finest midfielders of his generation, scoring 34 goals and supplying 39 assists during his time in Turin.
Rabiot hasn’t quite been perceived in the same light but his ‘strength’ on the pitch, as Buffon eludes to, is not the only similarity with Pogba. Of course, they are both French, but the Juve midfielder would also come with his own baggage and controversy.
That said, the 27-year-old Rabiot does have an average career rating of 7.03 on WhoScored, proving that he can excel at the highest level. He has won five Ligue 1 titles and a Serie A crown so the Frenchman would add that winning mentality to the Man United squad that is severely lacking at the minute.
While mainly operating as a defensive midfielder, he has scored 26 goals in his career, and with the United midfield only contributing a total of eight goals over the course of last term, Rabiot would certainly be able to chip in with a few.
The Juventus star might not be Frenkie de Jong, a long-term target for United, but for the aforementioned price, it may be a deal too good to ignore. The new manager will just have to hope his on-field performances do the talking, unlike Pogba.