Manchester United have reportedly received a major boost in pursuit of Ivan Rakitic, who is ready to leave Barcelona in the summer.
According to a report by Spanish publication Don Balon, Ivan Rakitic is ready to call it quits at Barcelona in the summer transfer window. The Croatian midfielder is concerned about his place as a regular in the first-team setup at Camp Nou, and is open to a move to long-time suitors Manchester United.
Ivan Rakitic is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world, having been a consistent figure for Barcelona over the last four seasons. It is this consistency that has seen him notch up the most appearances out of any Barcelona player this season.
The Croat has played all but two games in the current campaign, featuring in Ernesto Valverde’s side whenever fit and available. But, while Rakitic has been a key player for Barcelona this season so far, his future at Camp Nou has come under a cloud, which has piqued the interest of Manchester United.
The Red Devils hold a long-standing interest in the 30-year-old, and look set to launch the offensive for him in the summer, with midfield reinforcements an urgent need. Manchester United are set to lose Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini this summer to retirement and a free transfer, respectively.
While Scott McTominay has stepped up to provide Jose Mourinho an added option in midfield, the Manchester United manager has made it clear that he needs more midfielders at his disposal to help provide a more sustained challenge to Manchester City for the Premier League title next season.
As far as world class midfielders go, very few come as robust and creative as Rakitic. And as per the report, the player is now open to a move away from Barcelona, with the switch to Manchester United sounding like an appealing prospect.
Barcelona have already signed Arthur, who will join the first-team squad when the transfer window reopens in July. But, the Catalan giants have been linked with further reinforcements in midfield, which has left Rakitic worried about having to share game time next season.
Another reason why Rakitic is now open to a move to Old Trafford is that Manchester United are ready to bump up his wages considerably, and the fact that this is likely to be the last big contract of his senior career makes it all the more tempting.
Rakitic seems to be edging closer to a move to Manchester United in the summer. It now remains to be seen if Barcelona indeed lose the Croatian midfield maestro, with the Blaugrana looking set to usher in a new era at Camp Nou.