Frenkie de Jong, the Barcelona and Netherlands midfielder, has been Manchester United’s prime midfield target this summer and for much of the transfer window, no alternatives have been considered by the club.
Such was Erik ten Hag’s conviction that only De Jong, with whom he enjoyed great success at Ajax, could fill the role he desires in the middle of the park.
The clock has wound down on United’s new manager, however, and De Jong joining the club is looking increasingly unlikely with each passing day.
Adrien Rabiot, the Juventus and France midfielder, has now emerged as an alternative to De Jong and a deal to sign the 27-year-old is quite advanced.
Now, United legend Lou Macari has warned that he has a ‘bad feeling’ about the 29-time France international ahead of his potential move to Old Trafford.
“I’d never really heard of him,” Macari said on MUTV, according to journalist Rich Fay.
“Clubs spend millions of pounds scouting players across Europe, but nobody else has made a move for this fella. Why do you think this is? I have got a bad feeling about the guy.”
Rabiot is well-known across Europe but his reputation could be better. Off-pitch troubles have followed him and on the pitch, he has done little to warrant interest from a club like United.
In truth, Juventus are desperate to get rid of him and United’s interest makes little sense. After yet another chaotic transfer window, it feels like Ten Hag will accept whatever’s available.
Rabiot does not share many qualities with De Jong and if he’s the second choice behind the Dutchman, questions have to be asked over the strategy at play here.