Man Utd transfer chief John Murtough given problem by Adrien Rabiot with talks ‘underway’

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A potential issue has arisen during Manchester United’s discussions with Adrien Rabiot over a summer move. United have agreed a transfer fee with Juventus for the 27-year-old midfielder and are now attempting to settle on personal terms with his agent and mother, Veronique.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Juventus have accepted a bid worth just over £14million plus add-ons to allow Rabiot to move to Old Trafford. United have been long-term admirers of the France international, but talks progressed over the weekend after Erik ten Hag sanctioned a deal, which could be completed this week.

Ten Hag is understood to have directly called Rabiot on Monday for a ‘positive’ conversation, with John Murtough now leading negotiations over the financial details and project plan with Veronique. However, despite his interest in a Premier League switch, Rabiot is unwilling to surrender the salary he currently earns in Turin as negotiations continue over the terms he will take at United.

The report claims he currently earns a salary worth just over £5.9m annually and around £115,000 per week. While it remains to be seen how much United are ready to pay Rabiot, keeping him on his current salary package would make him the 14th member of Ten Hag’s squad earning over £100,000 weekly (per Spotrac).

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The Red Devils are eyeing two midfield signings in the final three weeks of the summer transfer window after their opening Premier League defeat exposed their lack of quality in the area. Rabiot is considered an additional target to Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong rather than a late alternative amid uncertainty over his future.

Ten Hag has identified De Jong as his priority target this summer, but the Dutchman has been reluctant to leave Barca, despite the club’s efforts to force a move through. United have agreed a fee for his signature, but Chelsea are now close to doing the same and can offer Champions League football, unlike their Premier League rivals.

Given the 4-3-3 system he has adopted in possession at Old Trafford so far, Ten Hag likely views De Jong as a holding midfielder who can progress the ball from defence to attack quickly like Fred. Rabiot could be one of the two ahead of the holder and a replacement for Scott McTominay, who has garnered criticism for his display against Brighton.

United’s summer looks set to end in disappointment, with De Jong’s arrival more doubtful than likely at this stage. But despite his wage demands, there will be widespread hope at the club that a deal can be reached for Rabiot, who could add much-needed quality to Ten Hag’s ranks.

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