Having spent most of the summer pursuing a deal for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong – who has so far snubbed a move to Old Trafford – United have begrudgingly accepted that they will likely miss out on their number one target.
That has seen them move on to Juventus midfielder Rabiot, with the Italian side happy to accept a proposed offer from United in the region of £15million.
However, according to Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio, the deal has not progressed any further with talks between United and the 27-year-old hitting a ‘blockage’.
Rabiot’s mother – who is also his agent – is a notoriously difficult operator and is driving a hard bargain, having requested a salary in the region of £8.5m-a-year.
That works out at around £160,000-a-week and would make the Frenchman one of the highest earners in Erik ten Hag’s squad, with the figures being requested by Rabiot’s camp throwing a spanner in the works.
With no agreement yet reached, the rest of Juventus’ transfer plans are currently on hold with the Italian giants having hoped to replace Rabiot with PSG’s Leandro Paredes.
The Old Lady are also looking to bring in a new attacker to support Dusan Vlahovic, and have put a United player, Anthony Martial, at the top of their wish list.
Juventus specifically want a player with different characteristics to the big Serbian frontman, rather than a like-for-like backup – such as Arkadiusz Milik, who they have also been linked with.
Martial fits the bill as a result and Juve have been admirers of the former Monaco man for some time, though they are also exploring a potential deal for Barcelona’s Memphis Depay.
It is not clear if Juve have already discussed the possibility of signing Martial with United during talks over Rabiot, while a deal for Depay – who Barca want to offload – would be far easier and cheaper to complete.
Six months ago, Juve would have had a great chance of signing Martial with the Frenchman barely featuring under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick before being loaned to Sevilla.
But, under Ten Hag, the French striker has enjoyed a strong pre-season campaign and would have started against Brighton last week but for an injury.
United were forced to field Christian Eriksen as a false nine instead, highlighting their lack of options up top, and it seems very unlikely that they would let Martial leave even if they land PSV’s versatile attacker Cody Gakpo.
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