Rabiot's rap sheet as Man United turn to troublesome £15m star

Agent mother rowing with Mbappe’s family, suspended by PSG for a night out after a defeat and refusing standby duty for France: The long rap sheet of Adrien Rabiot as Man United chase the £15m star

  • Manchester United are poised to complete the £15m signing of Adrien Rabiot
  • He faded from the picture at Juventus and was entering the last year of his deal
  • While Rabiot may ease Erik ten Hag’s midfield headache, he could cause issues
  • France international clashed with old club Paris Saint-Germain over contracts
  • His time in Paris ended in acrimony after he partied after loss to Man United
  • He refused to go on France’s standby list for the 2018 World Cup
  • Veronique, his mother and agent, has also repeatedly caused issues for clubs 

Having just got rid of one troublesome Frenchman, Manchester United could be about to lumber themselves with another.

The departure of Paul Pogba and others over the summer has really left the cupboard bare for new manager Erik ten Hag when it comes to midfield options.

With United no closer in their efforts to extract Frenkie de Jong – the Ten Hag’s No 1 transfer target – from Barcelona, they have turned to Juventus outcast Adrien Rabiot, who is available for £15million.

Manchester United are poised to sign Adrien Rabiot from Juventus in a deal worth £15million

The France international will ease United’s midfield issues but can stir up trouble 

Rabiot, 27, isn’t especially popular at Juventus and hasn’t reproduced the form that established his reputation during the seven years at Paris Saint-Germain that preceded it.

But it isn’t just on-field lethargy that has tarnished the reputation of a player once considered France’s golden boy.

Off-field rows and indiscretions – not only by Rabiot himself but also his formidable mother and agent Veronique – have given him a reputation within the game of being a tricky customer.

Rabiot’s mother and agent Veronique is a formidable figure who has caused issues for clubs

United manager Erik ten Hag needs new bodies in midfield and Rabiot will help plug the gap

But Ten Hag and United are increasingly desperate. Although the club insist their interest in Rabiot was firm prior to Sunday’s season-opening defeat to Brighton, the timing still makes it appear like a reactionary move.

And there are plenty of items on Rabiot’s rap sheet that could make United live to regret their decision.

Qatar… but not with mum

Rabiot was just about making his breakthrough into the PSG senior squad, having come through their academy, in 2012.

The club wanted Rabiot to travel to Qatar with the squad for a mid-season tour but, unusually, his mother wanted to come along with him.

Enter Veronique, who is Rabiot’s agent and an uncompromising one. She took charge of his career after his father, Michel Provost, suffered a stroke in 2007 that left him with locked-in syndrome. Michel is paralysed but fully conscious.

Her insistence on accompanying the tour led to friction and Rabiot was duly sent out on loan to Toulouse.

Even more bizarrely, when there, she reportedly insisted on attending all of their training sessions.

Rabiot slides in on future team-mate Neymar during a Champions League clash with Barcelona

A Blanc cheque for mayhem

Two years later and Rabiot was on the brink of leaving after Laurent Blanc dropped him from the PSG squad and into the reserves.

One evening, when Blanc was leaving PSG’s Camp des Loges training ground, there was Veronique lying in wait for him.

‘You can’t do that to him. I’m not going to consent to that,’ Blanc was told, presumably with some force.

PSG had little choice but to call in security but the confrontation seemed to do the trick.

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Rabiot did renew his PSG deal – and on improved terms – not long afterwards, having failed to secure a move to Roma.

PSG manager Laurent Blanc was once confronted by Rabiot’s mother as he left training

Eyeball to eyeball with Ibra

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is 6ft 5in tall and a black belt in taekwondo, probably isn’t a good person to have a confrontation with, especially in a public place such as a football stadium.

But that didn’t stop Rabiot clashing with the Swede during a 2015 pre-season friendly between Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea in North Carolina.

Ibrahimovic gave the ball away and Rabiot couldn’t resist saying a few words, leading to an argument.

‘With Ibra, we got a little bit heated on the field but we spoke about it in the dressing room,’ Rabiot said post-match.

‘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 made a handful of appearances for France by the time of the 2018 World Cup but didn’t make Didier Deschamps’ final squad selection for Russia.

Instead, he was asked to be on standby in case someone pulled out injured. That wasn’t good enough for Rabiot, who emailed the coach and said he would not ‘be able to follow the training programme.’

The French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet responded: ‘His disappointment does not allow him to give up and not to serve the France team.

‘To be part of the collective of France, to be among the best French players, is a chance and a privilege in the career of a player.

‘He made a bad decision. He penalises himself and sanctions himself alone.’

Rabiot sat at home and watch his team-mates win the World Cup on television. He wasn’t allowed back into the France fold for two years.

Didier Deschamps dropped Rabiot from the France fold for two years after he refused to go on standby for the 2018 World Cup squad

Dropped for being late

In October 2018, Rabiot and Kylian Mbappe were dropped to the bench ahead of a match against Montpellier by coach Thomas Tuchel.

Their crime had been arriving late for a team meeting, which Tuchel wasn’t willing to stand for.

It was a short ban but a foretaste of what would come later that season.

Dumped into the reserves after refusing new deal

Rabiot couldn’t reach agreement with PSG over another new contract in December 2018 and was banished once again to the PSG reserve side.

At the time, the midfielder was linked with moves to Barcelona and Bayern Munich as his contract ticked down into the final months.

Rabiot and Kylian Mbappe were dropped by Thomas Tuchel for turning up late to a meeting

Even though PSG were short of midfielders at the time with Marco Verratti out injured, there was seemingly no way back for the contract rebel.

At one stage, he even appealed to the French League’s legal committee to see if he could force his way back into the team.

He claimed the ‘professional footballer’s charter’ only allowed players to train apart ‘on a temporary basis’ and for ‘exclusively sporting reasons.’

But it was all to no avail – Rabiot didn’t play again during the entirety of that season and he was out the door the following summer.

Naturally, Veronique didn’t agree with PSG’s stance, saying: ‘Adrien is a prisoner! He is even held hostage by PSG.

‘Soon it will be dry bread, water, and a dungeon! This environment is cruel.’

Veronique was fuming after PSG dropped Rabiot for the second half of the 2018-19 season

Partying hard after a devastating defeat

United’s smash and grab 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 played no part in the last-16 tie having been cast aside by the club earlier in the season but that didn’t stop him going to a nightclub after the loss.

Not only was he out partying as the club mourned their European exit but Rabiot ‘liked’ a social media video posted by Patrice Evra showing the United legend celebrating in the stands.

Rabiot, already effectively suspended, was handed another suspension of two weeks for crossing the line again.

‘I find unacceptable the attitude and lack of professionalism of a player like Adrien Rabiot towards the club, his team-mates and the fans,’ PSG sporting director Antero Henrique said 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 the European Championship to their World Cup glory last year ended when they lost on penalties to Switzerland in the last-16.

Afterwards, an extraordinary video emerged of Veronique confronting Mbappe’s father, Wilfried, after the PSG striker missed the decisive spot-kick.

It is thought she said: ‘It is embarrassing how he struck that, for a player of his level. He hit it too lightly, I hope you are going to scold him.’

Apparently during an earlier discussion, Veronique told Wilfried his son was ‘arrogant’, has a ‘big head’ and gets ‘too much protection from the press.’

Agony for France as they are eliminated by Switzerland in the European Championship last-16

Rabiot argues with Paul Pogba as France crashed out of Euro 2020 to Switzerland




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