Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
There is still work to do until the deal is complete, with personal terms still needing to be negotiated with his agent and mother Veronique.
Rabiot – who joined Juventus as a free agent in the summer of 2019, is in the final year of his contract and has fallen out of favour at the Italian giants.
Juventus are satisfied with letting Rabiot leave the club this summer before his contract ends in 2023.
United have continued to work on all midfield options as a transfer for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong has been a complicated one to do, but they have not given up on a deal for de Jong, and there is still a belief there is a deal to be done.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reiterated that there have been offers but has indicated that de Jong wants to stay, and that the club want him to stay. However, economic issues have not gone away and the matter of de Jong’s deferred wages remains unresolved.
Central midfield has been a priority position all summer for United and signing both Rabiot and de Jong has not been ruled out.
Rabiot had a brief spell in the academy of Manchester City before turning professional at Paris Saint-Germain in his homeland a decade ago.
He made 227 appearances and won five league titles at PSG before joining Juventus three years ago. Rabiot started 28 matches in Serie A last season.
Meanwhile, United are also expected to go back in with an improved offer for Bologna’s Marko Arnautovic.
United had a bid of around £7.6m (€9m) euros for the striker rejected over the weekend, Sky in Italy reported, but are reportedly confident of signing the striker.
It is thought Arnautovic is viewed as someone who has a different profile to other players in the United squad and is a player who would add strength, quality and depth to the forward line.
At 33, Arnautovic is more a player for the present rather than the future, and United are still actively looking at players for the longer term.
The former West Ham and Stoke forward has got 43 Premier League goals to his name, following a six-year spell in the top-flight.
After spending two years in China with Shanghai Port, Arnautovic returned to Europe last year and has scored 15 goals in 34 games for Bologna.
United’s interest in the Austrian could be explained by his previous connection to Steve McClaren, who is one of Ten Hag’s assistants at Old Trafford.
Arnautovic was playing for FC Twente when McClaren took charge of the Eredivisie club in the summer of 2008 and became a regular in the side. Ten Hag also spent time as McClaren’s No 2 in the Netherlands.
Sesko close to signing for RB Leipzig
Former Manchester United target Benjamin Sesko is close to joining RB Leipzig from sister club Red Bull Salzburg for a fee of £20m.
The 19-year-old Slovenia striker will sign a deal until 2028 and is expected to be loaned back to the Austrian club until 2023. He will continue to play for Salzburg this season.
The agreement will not impact on Leipzig’s deal for Chelsea striker Timo Werner.
Neville: I’ve nothing to say | Richards: What has happened to Man Utd?
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Asked about Manchester United’s bid for Arnautovic on Super Sunday, Gary Neville said he was not surprised and admits deals like this are becoming a “pattern” for his former side.
“The first thing you do when the phone rings from Manchester United is reject the bid, because the reality of it is after losing that game against Brighton on Sunday, they’re actually negotiating from an even worse position than they were on Saturday, and that’s an even bigger problem for them,” Neville said.
“I’ve got a comment on everything in the world, apart from Manchester United signing Marko Arnautovic. I’ve got nothing to say.
"We’ve seen Radamel Falcao, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Odion Ighalo – desperate, it’s a pattern. It’s happening time and time again. I don’t even get angry or animated about it anymore. I’m not going to comment about it.”
Micah Richards added: “What has happened to Manchester United, seriously? I’m not going to stick the boot in. Arnautovic was a quality player, but he’s 33 playing in Italy.”
Sky Sports’ Adam Bate at Old Trafford:
Erik ten Hag’s first Premier League game in charge of Manchester United ended in a 2-1 defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford.
Supporters had come in the hope of seeing some progress under the new coach but it was old failings that proved the difference instead…
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