Manchester United will reportedly look to bring in Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic if they end up selling star midfielder Paul Pogba this summer.
Manchester United are looking towards Barcelona to fill the potential gap that Paul Pogba’s alleged departure might create. According to Spanish publication Sport, if Paul Pogba ends up leaving United in the current transfer window, the club will look to replace the Frenchman with Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
Paul Pogba has been linked with Real Madrid the entire summer transfer window, with Juventus also interested in bringing Pogba back to Turin. The report iterates that Barcelona could be ready to listen to any proposals for Rakitic, with Frenkie De Jong’s arrival creating an overload of options in midfield.
Ivan Rakitic has been one of the best midfielders to grace La Liga in the last decade or so. Firstly at Sevilla and then moving to Barcelona in 2014, Rakitic has won every trophy possible at club level, with 16 trophies at Barcelona alone. 2018 though, was a highlight in many ways, with Rakitic reaching the final of the World Cup with Croatia before losing to France.
The ensuing season saw him make 54 appearances for Barcelona, with 5 goals and 10 assists to show for his efforts. The 31-year-old has been linked with a departure over the past couple of seasons. But, Rakitic has reaffirmed his loyalty to Barcelona every time. This time though, might be a different scenario, with Manchester United rumoured to be interested again.
Manchester United’s interest is speculative at best, with the entire rumour depending on whether Paul Pogba leaves the club in the current transfer window. Even then, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is thought to be close to sealing a move to Manchester and the Serbian will be a like-for-like replacement for the Frenchman.
Still, if Milinkovic-Savic arrives, United will only have the Serbian and one of Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic as a starter. The likes of Andreas Pereira and Fred are not thought to have done enough to be starting week-in week-out, which still leaves the midfield bereft of quality.
Also, Milinkovic-Savic is more defensively minded compared to Pogba, which means United will need to add to the creative element, which is where Ivan Rakitic comes in. The Croatian is a master at spraying passes with ease and connecting defence to attack.
United though, will be wary of meeting the rumoured €50 million price tag for a 31-year-old, especially with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking to build a young core. This rumour is fascinating and makes sense, with Barcelona willing to listen to offers for midfielder(s).
But, we do not expect United to go for veterans in this transfer window. Solskjaer’s first transfer window will resemble his rebuild mentality and is likely to include players who can serve Manchester United in the long run. Perhaps, Bruno Fernandes might be the man to take on the mantle, especially with Solskjaer preferring the 4-2-3-1 formation.