Erik ten Hag is still realizing the magnitude of the job he took on as Manchester United’s new manager. He has stabilized the ship, but there is still a major rebuild to be done.
The Dutch manager must have thought his side are finally starting to believe in the process and adapting to his methods after watching United embark on a nine-game unbeaten run.
However, the Red Devils succumbed to a 1-3 loss at the hands of Aston Villa and the players put on one of their most lackluster performances this season.
The search for the United midfielder
The former Ajax manager was guilty of making some questionable selection calls during that game.
The loss once again highlighted the need to recruit well in January and the Glazers should definitely loosen the strings on their portfolio rather than focus on next summer.
Priority positions include the addition of a goalscorer, a right back and a creative midfielder. One player who will definitely not make it is former target Adrien Rabiot.
Adrien Rabiot went the whole of last season without scoring a goal.
Now he has five goals in 14 games this season ⚽ pic.twitter.com/da1DyYvRMj
— Emperor A. (@EmperorAFC) November 7, 2022
The Juventus midfielder came close to securing a move to United in the summer, but salary demands from the player’s mother meant the deal fell through and the Reds signed Casemiro instead.
United definitely got a good deal in the end, but the need to sign a midfielder still exists considering the age of the Brazilian and Christian Eriksen.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has revealed in his exclusive Daily Briefing for CaughtOffside’s Substack that Rabiot’s situation has changed at the Turin club and a transfer will no longer be considered.
“There have been new transfer rumors about Adrien Rabiot, but I am not absolutely sure that he will leave Juventus in January.
“He is doing very well and is a key player for Allegri this season, so I see him staying at least until the end of the season, then his contract will be discussed when the current one expires in June 2023.”
It is unlikely that United will return for Rabiot
The Old Lady is expected to start negotiations on a new contract soon as they look to tie the Frenchman down to a long-term deal considering his importance to Allegri’s system.
However, in case a deal cannot be reached, many suitors will be waiting to catch him according to Romano. However, United are not expected to return with an offer.
“Manchester United had talks about signing Rabiot in the summer, but there were no other clubs in the running. In the end, his salary demands caused United to withdraw from the move.
“He’s quiet for now, but I’m sure he’ll have a lot of clubs interested if he ends up being a free agent in the summer.”
Instead, United should focus on bringing in an elite ball carrier in the mold of Jude Bellingham or Frenkie de Jong so that Ten Hag can carry out his project in the way he had envisioned.