Newcastle are one of the clubs showing an interest in signing Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot…
That is according to journalist Antonino Milone, who claims that the Magpies like the Frenchman, but face a battle with fellow Premier League outfit Chelsea for his signature.
This comes as Eddie Howe looks to strengthen his midfield options and find an ideal partner for Bruno Guimaraes in the heart of the pitch for his side.
It also brings into question the future of Isaac Hayden, who would likely need to reassess his future if the former Paris Saint-Germain man were to move to St. James’ Park in the summer. But how do the two compare?
A regular starter under previous manager Steve Bruce, the former Arsenal man has struggled for game time since Howe took charge of Newcastle, with injury and lack of match fitness ruling him out of action in 2022, with his last appearance coming in the 4-0 defeat against Manchester City in December.
Describing his season as the “toughest” of his professional career on Twitter, he fuelled speculation regarding his future by thanking the Toon faithful for the support they have given him over the past six years, with some fans suggesting that it was a potential farewell message.
This is especially the case as there is no clear argument that he will be able to be back to his best after his knee surgery, and whether he fits into the former Bournemouth boss’ plans after missing so much of the season.
With teammate and fellow defensive midfielder Sean Longstaff signing a three-year contract extension at the club, and now these links to Rabiot amongst other touted big names, it looks like the end of the road on Tyneside for the 27-year-old.
Similarly to Hayden, the Juventus man has also had a season to forget, with The Old Lady finishing fourth in Serie A, and the 27-year-old struggling to hold down a consistent place in Massimiliano Allegri’s side, being rotated in central, defensive, and wide midfield positions throughout the season, making it difficult to retain any consistency in his performances.
Despite making 45 appearances in black and white this season, it would not be a surprise to see the France international move on this summer, as he has failed to make as great an impact as many expected from him, failing to find the net all season and only managing two assists.
This has led him to receive criticism from the Italian press, with Football Italia describing the utility player as “disappointing,” though Bianconeri legend Gianluigi Buffon previously heaped praise on the midfielder, saying: “He is a fantastic mix, he has the physical strength of Pogba, who is like a wardrobe, has the personality of Vidal and potentially the dynamism of Marchisio. He is incredible, extremely strong.”
To escape this criticism, a move overseas may do him good, though he would have to step up to displace Longstaff or Guimaraes in the Newcastle side.
While Rabiot is arguably the better player of the two, neither he nor Hayden are really up to scratch is Newcastle are seriously pursuing European football next season.
And with a £12.7m price tag to his name according to CalcioMercato, the Saint-Maurice native’s performances don’t justify the North East club making him a priority transfer target.
Their best bet is to let Hayden go, and look away from Italy to strengthen their midfield options, with PSV Eindhoven’s Ibrahim Sangare looking like a strong option, a player that the club have already been linked with.
And in other news, an update on another Toon transfer target has come from social media…