Adrien Rabiot insists that Euro 2024 was at the forefront of his thinking when turning down Premier League giants Manchester United in favour of staying put at Serie A challengers Juventus.

12 months earlier, it was Manchester United who got cold feet about bringing Adrien Rabiot to Old Trafford; calling off negotiations despite agreeing a £15 million fee with the one-time Man City prospect (Manchester Evening News).

One year on, it was the player’s decision this time around – rather than the club’s – after discussions between Rabiot and the Red Devils broke down again.

Manchester united like Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot
Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images

According to Fabrizio Romano, Erik ten Hag is a big fan of the experienced enforcer, with Manchester United renewing their interest at the start of this summer.

Now, breaking his silence during a lengthy interview with L’Equipe, the former Paris Saint-Germain enforcer has shone a light as to why Manchester United missed out on one of their leading midfield targets for a second year running.

Manchester United missed out on Adrien Rabiot again

“(The 2024 European Championships) was an important part of my decision,” Rabiot explains. “It’s complicated to adapt to a new club.”

Having forced his way back into Didier Deschamps’ France squad, a player who was left with rather bittersweet feelings after watching Le Bleus lift the 2018 World Cup from the comfort of his own sofa obviously felt that moving to a new club in a new league was a risk not worth taking.

Struggle in his debut season at Old Trafford, and there would be a very real prospect of Rabiot falling behind Youssouf Fofana, Boubacar Kamara, Khephren Thuram and co in Deschamps’ pecking order.

“With Juve, we won’t have European football,” Rabiot adds. “But I take it as an opportunity to work harder, which you can’t do when you play every three days.”

‘World-class’ Rabiot

Never short of self-confidence, Rabiot felt his name was a conspicuous absence from the 2023 Ballon D’Or shortlist, left out alongside Man United duo Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes.

With 11 goals and six assists, the rangy playmaker certainly produced the best numbers of his career in a ‘world-class’ season, while helping France reach the World Cup final in Qatar.

“What if I could be among the candidates for the Ballon d’Or? I had a very important season on an individual level. And, seeing certain players who appear there (on the shortlist), I thought it wasn’t logical (that I wasn’t included),” Rabiot adds.

“Whoever decides all this perhaps doesn’t have a player’s entire season in mind. Sometimes, one or two good Champions League matches can be enough.”

Related Topics