Veronique, Adrien Rabiot’s mother, and agent strike you as a combination between Judy Murray and Angela Lansbury’s mother in The Manchurian Candidate.
When it became clear that her son had decided to leave Paris Saint-Germain, the club’s chairman, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, was claimed to be relieved that he would no longer have to deal with Veronique.
Veronique’s parental protection has subtleties. Michel Rabiot, Rabiot’s father, had a stroke in 2007 and got locked-in syndrome.
“The only thing he’s asked is that his contract is completed and honored,” Veronique told L’Equipe three years ago. “They penalized him for failing to come to Qatar when his grandmother died and his father died.”
“We work well together because we never mistrust each other.”
“The women are always the powerful ones in the family, without a doubt,” Sir Alex Ferguson famously said. ‘Get the mother,’ I always say.” Or Veronique will come after you.
Manchester United and Juventus have agreed in principle on a cost of £15 million, increasing to £20 million, for Rabiot, but the transfer would take a long time.
Veronique was taken aback. When Rabiot’s move to Roma fell through late in the summer 2014 transfer window, only Louis van Gaal was holding out for the recuperating Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman.
Rabiot went to Manchester as a 13-year-old to train with City’s academy in 2008, a year after his father suffered a stroke, but only remained for six months due to a disagreement with a staff member. Carlo Ancelotti encouraged Rabiot to practice with the PSG first squad four years later.
The circumstances behind United’s Rabiot approach are concerning. From the outside, they appear reactionary again, acting a day after a morale-shattering defeat by Brighton, albeit there was activity last week to seek Frenkie de Jong as a fall-back objective. Before the Brighton game, a source claimed Rabiot was “on the cards.”
Rabiot was said to think Tottenham, the recent Champions League finalists, were beneath him three years ago. He is now open to joining Europa League fodder whose top player wants to leave. Nothing has changed since 2019.
Rabiot was being tracked by United at the time, but he was never considered a viable option because his PSG contract was about to expire. Juventus, who prefers free transfers, had a free run.
According to club sources, an enfant terrible with a forceful agent is a risky profile for a United locker room lacking in personality.
United formerly housed an egotistical French midfielder, and Paul Pogba is currently Rabiot’s Juventus colleague. According to reports, Veronique got into a heated argument with Pogba’s family in the grandstand after Switzerland booted France out of the European Championship last year.
Rabiot has more baggage than Kim Kardashian. He was a persona non grata in his final months at PSG and was exiled by France coach Didier Deschamps after withdrawing from the 2018 World Cup squad.
However, United requires an enforcer in midfield capable of seizing a game by the lapels. Rabiot’s fiery disposition, while unsettling to some, can be tamed with skillful man-management, and he has played at the highest levels in France and Italy.
Rabiot is a better footballer than United’s available midfielders. He is a box-to-box midfielder capable of holding the fort or storming forward. United have been irritated by their procrastination in the French market in previous years, and Rabiot is a workable solution after Eduardo Camavinga selected the Plaza Mayor to Piccadilly Gardens last summer.
Rabiot disagrees with Ten Hag’s predilection for Dutch football affiliates, which is a step forward for United’s poor plan. Day 90 of the De Jong story has arrived, and they have been outpriced for Antony.
Eric Cantona would almost certainly give Rabiot a mention on Instagram. Rabiot was punished for six days after liking an Instagram photo of Patrice Evra celebrating United’s ecstatic win against PSG in March 2019. Cantona, who was also present at the Parc des Princes, chastised a hysterical Neymar.
He is afraid to face Veronique.