Manchester United and Bayern Munich are set to go head-to-head in pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic in the summer.
Spanish journal Mundo Deportivo have reported that Ivan Rakitic is the subject of interest of Manchester United and Bayern Munich. The two European heavyweights are set to indulge in a summer transfer battle for the Barcelona midfielder, who is likely to cost €50 million.
Rakitic joined Barcelona from Sevilla in the summer of 2014 in an €18 million deal, and quickly established himself as a key figure at Camp Nou. In fact, the Croatia international has been one of the most consistent midfielders in Europe in the last three seasons, having been a mainstay in the centre of the park for the Blaugrana.
2016/17 started on a stuttering note for the player as Rakitic filtered in and out of the starting eleven on a regular basis, exchanging places with the likes of Rafinha and Andre Gomes, but he reclaimed his status as a regular soon enough, ending the campaign with 51 appearances and a respectable return of 8 goals and 7 assists.
However, his place as a regular fixture in the Barcelona first-team setup could soon be under threat once again, with Barcelona reportedly keen on landing a quality midfielder in the summer. Marco Verratti is believed to be their top target and a possible move for the Italian could see Rakitic fall down the pecking order.
As a result, the Croat could be on his way out of Camp Nou in the summer transfer window, and two of the biggest clubs in Europe appear set to vie for his signature. Manchester United and Bayern Munich are interested in signing Rakitic and are set for a transfer battle to secure his services.
At Manchester United, Jose Mourinho has the likes of Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera as his only recognised options. But, with Carrick well into the twilight years of his career, Mourinho is believed to have identified a central midfielder as one of his summer priorities.
Thus, they have reignited their interest in Rakitic and are seeking a move for him in the summer. Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti has a wealth of options at the heart of midfield, with the likes of Arturo Vidal, Thiago Alcantara, Renato Sanches and the newly signed duo Sebastian Rudy and Corentin Tolisso at his disposal.
But, it goes without saying that a player of Rakitic’s calibre will add a lot of value to the Bavarians’ squad, and the Bayern boss is also known to be an admirer of his talents. At 29, the player will also provide the best years of his career to the duo, making him an ideal short-term solution.
Having only put pen to paper on a new six-year deal with Barcelona recently, though, Rakitic is set to become the most expensive player to depart from the Camp Nou, with the Catalan giants expecting to fetch around €50 million for the player.
The aforementioned figure is unlikely to deter either Manchester United or Bayern Munich in their pursuit of the Croat, and it remains to be seen where Rakitic heads off to in the summer.