Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot has laughed off reports in Italy that he has gone on strike.
The French midfielder was unhappy with stories in the media and responded with a series of posts to his Instagram page.
The first post in his Instagram story was a selfie of Rabiot looking thoughtful, with the ironic caption: “When you realise that it was your last day of… strike,” along with a pair of laughing emojis.
He then posted a picture of a medicine bottle with the French words for journalist and television on them, along with three yellow warning signs and the caption: “Newspaper, TV – don’t swallow.”
The rumours came about with Rabiot still in France after returning to his home country to self-isolate, after the Serie A season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With many of his Juventus team-mates having already returned to Turin with training back underway ahead of the Serie A campaign possibly resuming, Rabiot’s absence was interpreted by some as the fiery Frenchman having gone on strike.
The report from Italian newspaper La Stampa claimed Rabiot had decided to stay in France as part of a ‘personal strike’ against the Serie A champions after they cut his reported €7 million-a-year (£6m/$8m) salary by 25 per cent as part of a move to protect the club’s finances amid the Covid-19 crisis.
However, Rabiot is set to return to Italy on Wednesday, although he will have to observe a further 14-day isolation period in line with Italian laws about people re-entering the country from abroad.
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He is not the only Juve player yet to return to the country either – striker Gonzalo Higuain is expected back in Turin at the weekend, having flown back to his native Argentina last month in order to be with his sick mother.
Rabiot joined Juventus last summer on a free transfer after refusing to sign a contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain, however, he has made just 11 starts for Maurizio Sarri’s side this season.
Along with the other Serie A teams, Juve have returned to training, although players are having to work alone or in small groups as strict social distancing measures are enforced.