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CHRIS WHEELER: Ex-Man United star and MUTV pundit Lou Macari SLAMS club’s pursuit of Adrien Rabiot

CHRIS WHEELER: Lou Macari’s damning verdict on Man United’s pursuit of Adrien Rabiot was the last thing the club needs… his comments add to the sense that the team are a few bad results away from a crisis

  • MUTV pundit Lou Macari slammed Manchester United’s transfer business
  • The ex-Red Devils player is unimpressed by the club’s pursuit of Adrien Rabiot
  • His candid assessment has heaped further misery on to the fans at Old Trafford
  • The comments were hardly ideal for United, who look to be nearing a crisis 

As if a nightmare start to the season and a fan revolt weren’t worrying enough for Manchester United, the club’s in-house TV station chose a bad time to go off-message on Friday.

Discussing United’s bid to sign Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot in a £15.2million deal, former Old Trafford favourite and popular MUTV pundit Lou Macari was perhaps a little too candid in his assessment of the situation.

‘I’d never really heard of him,’ said the 73-year-old Scot. ‘Clubs spend millions of pounds to put scouts out there all around Europe to keep an eye on players. No one has made a move for this fella. Why? I’ve got a bad feeling about the guy.’

Former United star Lou Macari was damning of United pursuing Adrien Rabiot and his comments were hardly ideal for the club

Former United star Lou Macari was damning of United pursuing Adrien Rabiot and his comments were hardly ideal for the club

The United chiefs want to sign the Juventus midfielder in a bid to bolster Erik ten Hag's squad

The United chiefs want to sign the Juventus midfielder in a bid to bolster Erik ten Hag’s squad

For a club still reeling from an opening-day defeat by Brighton and a tough week in which they have faced more anti-Glazer protests and a backlash from supporters over attempts to sign veteran striker Marko Arnautovic, it was not what United would have wanted to hear.

The club were already pushing back against suggestions they have made a last-minute switch to Rabiot because it seems unlikely that first-choice midfield target Frenkie de Jong will move to Old Trafford from Barcelona. Sources insist Rabiot has been on their list all summer and that signing the 27-year-old does not preclude getting De Jong as well.

But Macari’s comments added to the sense of discord at a club that feels like it is only a couple of bad results away from a full-blown crisis — and we’re only in mid-August.

If there is panic behind the scenes at United, however, manager Erik ten Hag wasn’t showing it ahead of today’s trip to Brentford.

Macari's comments add to a sense that United are a few bad results away from a crisis

Macari’s comments add to a sense that United are a few bad results away from a crisis

‘When Manchester United are not performing, not winning, that’s normal,’ smiled Ten Hag. ‘I would be more in panic when there wasn’t panic because we have to win. That is the demand. Still, I would say panic isn’t the right word. It’s more like, “Come on, we have to act”. We have to do the right things. There is always pressure.

‘Everyone expects Manchester United to win every game. We have to deal with that.’

Asked if he thinks the United board will provide him with a stronger squad before the transfer window closes as they attempt to sign a midfielder and forward, Ten Hag replied: ‘We have to. I am convinced we will have. We co-operate well and it is to my satisfaction. It would be my preference (to sign players sooner) because we could be starting the process earlier.

‘In the midfield and offence departments, you have seen we have a problem when we have one injury, that’s clear.’

Frenkie de Jong was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford but talks seem to have stalled

Frenkie de Jong was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford but talks seem to have stalled

Ten Hag was referring to Anthony Martial’s hamstring strain which will keep him out of today’s game and once again leaves the manager with a decision to make over Cristiano Ronaldo.

Can he start a player who wants to leave the club? ‘That is not what he is telling me,’ said Ten Hag. ‘We have to fit him into the team. He has to have the right fitness levels so he can do the job we expect.’

Ten Hag had to address the future of another of his forwards yesterday after it emerged that Marcus Rashford’s representatives met with Paris Saint- Germain last week. It’s understood that Rashford, who is under contract for another two years, doesn’t want to leave.

‘I don’t want to lose him, he’s definitely in our plans,’ added Ten Hag. ‘He knows I love him, he knows I want him to be here at Manchester United, so I will tell him that again.’

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