Having just gotten rid of a troublesome Frenchman, Manchester United could be slugging it out with another.
The departure of Paul Pogba and others in the summer has really left new manager Erik ten Hag’s closet empty in terms of midfield options.
With United faltering in their bid to land Frenkie de Jong – Ten Hag’s No. 1 transfer target – out of Barcelona, they have turned to Juventus outcast Adrien Rabiot who is available for £15m.
Manchester United are ready to sign Adrien Rabiot from Juventus in a £15million deal
The France international will solve United’s midfield problems but could cause trouble
Rabiot, 27, is not particularly popular at Juventus and has failed to reproduce the form that made his reputation at Paris Saint-Germain in the previous seven years.
But it’s not just lethargy on the field that has tarnished the reputation of a player once considered France’s golden boy.
Quarrels and off-pitch indiscretions – not only from Rabiot himself, but also from his formidable mother and agent Veronique – have earned him an in-game reputation as a tricky client.
Rabiot’s mother and agent Veronique is an impressive figure who has caused trouble for clubs
United manager Erik ten Hag needs new bodies in midfield and Rabiot will help close the gap
But Ten Hag and United are increasingly desperate. Although the club insist their interest in Rabiot was strong ahead of Sunday’s season-opening defeat by Brighton, the timing still makes it seem like a reactionary move.
And there are plenty of points on Rabiot’s criminal record that could make United regret his decision.
Qatar… but not with mom
Rabiot was on the verge of breaking through to PSG’s senior squad after passing through the academy in 2012.
The club wanted Rabiot to travel to Qatar with the squad for a mid-season tour but, unusually, his mum wanted to come along.
Enter Veronique, who is Rabiot’s agent and an uncompromising one. She took over his career after his father, Michel Provost, suffered a stroke in 2007 that left him with locked-in syndrome. Michel is paralyzed but fully conscious.
Her insistence on accompanying the tour caused friction and Rabiot was duly loaned out to Toulouse.
Even more bizarre when she reportedly insisted on attending all of her workouts there.
Rabiot interferes with future teammate Neymar during a Champions League clash with Barcelona
A blanc check for chaos
Two years later, Rabiot was on the verge of retirement after Laurent Blanc knocked him out of the PSG squad and into the reserves.
One evening when Blanc left PSG’s Camp des Loges training ground, Veronique was waiting for him.
“You can’t do that to him. I won’t agree with that,’ Blanc was told, probably with some emphasis.
PSG had no choice but to call safety but the confrontation seemed to do the trick.
Rabiot renewed his PSG deal – and on improved terms – not long after, having failed to secure a move to Roma.
PSG manager Laurent Blanc was once confronted by Rabiot’s mother when he left training
Eyeball to eyeball with Ibra
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is 6ft 5 inches tall and has a black belt in taekwondo, is probably not a good person to have a confrontation with, especially in a public place like a soccer stadium.
But that didn’t stop Rabiot from clashing with the Swede during a pre-season friendly between Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea in North Carolina in 2015.
Ibrahimovic gave the ball away and Rabiot couldn’t resist saying a few words, leading to an argument.
“With Ibra we got a little heated on the field but we talked about it in the dressing room,” Rabiot said after the game.
“We put everything back in order, there were no worries. These things happen on the field. We laughed about it.”
Nobody puts Rabiot on standby
Rabiot had played a handful of games for France up until the 2018 World Cup but failed to make Didier Deschamps’ final squad selection for Russia.
Instead, he was asked to remain on standby in case someone was pulled out injured. That wasn’t good enough for Rabiot, who emailed the coach and said he “can’t follow the training regimen”.
French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet replied: “His disappointment does not allow him to give up and not serve the French team.
“Being part of the French collective, being among the best French players, is an opportunity and a privilege in a player’s career.
“He made a bad decision. He punishes himself and sanctions himself alone.’
Rabiot sat at home and watched his teammates win the World Cup on TV. He was not allowed to return to the French herd for two years.
Didier Deschamps dropped Rabiot from the France squad for two years after refusing to stand by for the 2018 World Cup squad
Dropped due to being late
In October 2018, Rabiot and Kylian Mbappe were benched by coach Thomas Tuchel ahead of a game against Montpellier.
Her crime had come late to a team meeting that Tuchel was unwilling to stand for.
It was a short suspension but a taste of what was to come later this season.
Thrown into reserves after rejecting a new deal
Rabiot failed to agree another new deal with PSG in December 2018 and was relegated to PSG’s reserve side once again.
At the time, the midfielder was linked with moves to Barcelona and Bayern Munich as his contract expired in recent months.
Rabiot and Kylian Mbappe were dropped by Thomas Tuchel for showing up late to a meeting
Although PSG were absent from midfield at the time with the injured Marco Verratti, there seemed to be no turning back for the contract rebel.
At one point, he even appealed to the French league’s legal committee to see if he could force his way back into the squad.
He claimed the “professional footballers’ charter” only allows players to train separately “temporarily” and for “exclusively sporting reasons”.
But it was all for naught – Rabiot didn’t play again for the entire season and he was out the door the following summer.
Of course, Veronique didn’t agree with PSG’s stance, saying: ‘Adrien is a prisoner! He’s even being held hostage by PSG.
“Soon there will be dry bread, water and a dungeon! This environment is cruel.”
Veronique was furious after PSG dropped Rabiot for the second half of the 2018-19 season
Celebrate after a devastating defeat
United’s Champions League win over PSG in 2019, when they overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit with a 3-1 win at the Parc des Princes, was devastating for the French club.
Rabiot didn’t feature in the round of 16 after being discarded by the club earlier in the season but that didn’t stop him from going to a nightclub after the defeat.
Not only was he celebrating as the club mourned his Europe exit, Rabiot also “liked” a social media video posted by Patrice Evra, which shows the United legend celebrating in the stands.
Rabiot, already effectively suspended, was granted another two-week suspension for re-crossing the line.
“I find the attitude and lack of professionalism of a player like Adrien Rabiot towards the club, his teammates and the fans unacceptable,” said PSG sporting director Antero Henrique at the time.
Rabiot liked a social media video posted by Patrice Evra as Man United beat PSG in 2019
Rabiot vs. Mbappe: Family Wars
France’s hopes of adding European Championships to their World Cup glory ended when they lost to Switzerland on penalties in the round of 16.
After that, an extraordinary video emerged of Veronique confronting Mbappe’s father Wilfried after the PSG striker missed the crucial penalty.
She is believed to have said: “It’s embarrassing the way he hit that for a player of his level. He took it too easy, I hope you will scold him.’
Apparently, during a previous discussion, Veronique told Wilfried his son was “arrogant,” had a “big head,” and was “overprotected by the press.”
Agony for France as they are eliminated against Switzerland in the round of 16 of the European Championship
Rabiot feuds with Paul Pogba as France crash into Switzerland from Euro 2020
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11095141/Adrien-Rabiots-rap-sheet-Man-United-turn-troublesome-15m-star-solve-midfield-crisis.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Adrien Rabiot’s criminal record as Man United turn to troublesome £15m star to solve midfield crisis