Manchester United are reportedly ready to make a move for Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic after Paul Pogba confirmed that he would be looking for a new challenge elsewhere.

According to Mundo Deportivo, Manchester United have identified Barcelona duo Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho as their desired replacements for Paul Pogba. The Frenchman has recently revealed his wish to try a new challenge elsewhere, hinting towards a move away from Old Trafford this summer.

“After this season and everything that happened this season, with my season being my best season as well… I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else. I am thinking of this: to have a new challenge somewhere else,” Pogba said, thereby handing a major boost Real Madrid.

As a result, Manchester United have shifted their attention towards the aforementioned Barcelona duo. While a move for Coutinho is unlikely, given his history with Liverpool, Rakitic appears as an appealing option for the Red Devils in their bid to bolster their midfield department.

In fact, Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for Rakitic this summer. The Croatian international currently faces an uncertain future at Barcelona as he prepares for the arrival of Frenkie de Jong.

The Ajax midfield sensation is sure to add more competition in Barcelona’s midfield department that is already stacked with players like Arthur Melo, Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets, along with the upcoming talents like Carles Alena and Riqui Puig.

Set to walk out of Barcelona? (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)

Set to walk out of Barcelona? (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

Even though only Sergio Busquets managed more minutes than Rakitic among the Barcelona midfielders in the recently concluded campaign, a move to Manchester United will offer him the opportunity of becoming a leader of a relatively young team that is ready to start from bottom under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Norwegian manager is keen to build a team around young players but having someone as experienced as Rakitic could help the Manchester United boss’s cause to become one of the European elites in the near future.

The player, too, could find regular game time and is likely to be utilised in his favoured central midfield role with someone like Scott McTominay or Nemanja Matic guarding the defence behind him. That being said, Manchester United’s failure of qualifying for the Champions League next season could become problematic in their pursuit of Rakitic.

The 31-year-old has consistently taken part in the coveted competition ever since his breakthrough at Sevilla, and it is unlikely that he will want to disrupt that flow by moving to Old Trafford unless Manchester United come up with extremely lucrative contract offer for the Croat.

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