Manchester United are reportedly plotting a summer swoop for Ivan Rakitic, who is valued at around £48 million by Barcelona.

According to Duncan Castles’ report on Daily Record, Manchester United have set their sights on Ivan Rakitic with a view to signing him in the summer transfer window. Barcelona are open to the idea of selling the Croatian superstar, but only if a suitors is willing to pay £48 million in exchange for his services.

Ivan Rakitic has been a trusted lieutenant for both Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde during his time at Barcelona. A reliable figure in the middle of the park, the Croat has impressed with his work rate and physical condition throughout the course of the campaign, emphasised by the fact that he has featured over 50 times in each of his five seasons at Camp Nou.

In fact, over the last five years, Rakitic has missed just nine matches due to fitness problems, which indicates just how reliable a figure he can be for a club. But, the player’s Barcelona future is uncertain following the capture of Frenkie de Jong, which now has Manchester United interested.

The Red Devils are reeling from their worst ever Premier League campaign and are set for a long summer that will see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revamp his squad. And, midfield is understandably a priority for the Manchester United boss, particularly in the wake of Ander Herrera’s departure from Old Trafford.

With Paul Pogba’s future also up in the air, Solskjaer and United are in a precarious position ahead of a season wherein they will be striving for at least a top four finish, if not more. Signing a veteran like Rakitic, who has previously been linked with them, thus, seems like a step in the right direction for the Premier League heavyweights.

While the 31-year-old Barcelona superstar will only be a short-term solution, the leadership and experience that he will bring can potentially be invaluable for Manchester United at a time when they need players to raise their hands and step up. But, there are a few bones of contention before they can hope to land him.

Could Rakitic and Paul Pogba be lining up alongside each other at Manchester United next season? (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Could Rakitic and Paul Pogba be lining up alongside each other at Manchester United next season? (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

The first seems to surround the transfer fee. While Barcelona, who are open to the idea of selling the Croat, value him at £48 million, Manchester United are only willing to pay over £30 million. In addition to the disparity in the idea of a fair valuation, Rakitic will also need a lot of persuasion to depart from Camp Nou.

The 2018 World Cup finalist feels well settled at the club, as per Castles, with Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde also holding him in high regard. Finally, with clubs such as Inter Milan and Juventus also tailing him, Manchester United have to contend with stiff competition.

While a move for Ivan Rakitic does make sense for Manchester United to solve their issues in the immediate future, there remain a few obstacles in their pursuit of the player. It now remains to be seen if the £48 million-rated Croatian international ends up leaving Barcelona in the summer, and if so, United end up securing his services.

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