Manchester United have reportedly submitted an enquiry for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic over a possible move this summer.

According to a report by Spanish publication Sport, Manchester United have taken the initial steps in their chase for Ivan Rakitic. The Premier League heavyweights have established contact with La Liga champions Barcelona over a possible move for the Croat in this summer’s transfer window.

Rakitic has been one of the mainstays in the Barcelona first-team setup since making his way to the Nou Camp from Sevilla in the summer of 2014. In fact, it is a testament to his reliability and fitness levels that the Croatian midfielder has made over 50 appearances in each of the five seasons he has been at the club.

But, the impending arrival of Frenkie de Jong has gone on to put Rakitic’s future at Camp Nou under a cloud of doubt. The Dutchman’s move to Barcelona would force Ernesto Valverde to cut the numbers in the midfield department and the rumour mill has been abuzz with speculation linking the 31-year-old with a possible exit. This has piqued the interest of Manchester United.

The Premier League heavyweights are striving to recover from an abject season that saw every department flatter to deceive. While every area of the pitch will supposedly be addressed this summer, midfield is an especial source of concern for Manchester United.

Manchester bound? (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Manchester bound? (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

What is even more worrisome is the fact that while Nemanja Matic is evidently in the twilight of his career, Ander Herrera has departed as a free agent and Paul Pogba is facing an uncertain future at Old Trafford. Midfield reinforcements are thus, imperative for Manchester United this summer.

To that end, Rakitic is a viable target for Manchester United, who are reportedly plotting a summer move for the Croatian midfielder. In a sense, the player could be a top class replacement and more for Herrera, with his creative nous in addition to the tenacity he shows in the middle of the park.

The Red Devils have now taken a big step in their bid to bring Rakitic to Old Trafford. Manchester United have established contact with Barcelona for the 31-year-old. But, United have a major hurdle in front of them, with the Croat unwilling to leave the Spanish champions, as per Sport.

Barcelona have already intimated that they will not be offering him an improved deal and despite a lucrative contract possibly on offer from Manchester United. While the Catalans’ board is open to the idea of selling Rakitic, Valverde would prefer keeping him, according to the report.

As things stand, Manchester United can possibly convince Barcelona to sell Ivan Rakitic this summer. But, with the veteran midfielder well settled and happy at Camp Nou, it looks unlikely that he could leave the Blaugrana this summer.