Barcelona are reportedly ready to offload midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who is on Manchester United’s radar, in the January transfer window.
As per a report from Spanish publication Sport, La Liga champions Barcelona are prepared to sell midfielder Ivan Rakitic in the winter transfer window, with the Croatian international attracting interest from Premier League giants Manchester United and Serie A heavyweights Inter Milan.
Rakitic is in his sixth season with Barcelona, having joined the Catalans from Sevilla in 2014. The 31-year-old has grown into one of the finest in his position during his time at Camp Nou, racking up 274 appearances and winning 4 La Liga titles as well as one UEFA Champions League trophy during the process.
Having been a mainstay in midfield for most of his spell with Barcelona, Rakitic has found himself warming the benches more often than not this season. The arrival of Frenkie de Jong, coupled with Arthur Melo’s solid start has seen the Croat being relegated to a bit-part role, starting just one of the Blaugrana’s ten matches in all competitions.
There had been a lot of questions over his future at Barcelona in the summer, but Rakitic had reiterated his desire to stay put and fight for his place in the team. However, with the player seemingly not a part of manager Ernesto Valverde’s plans, Barcelona are preparing to offload him in January.
Rakitic is contracted with the La Liga champions till 2021 and the fact that he will enter the final year of his deal next summer is reported to be the main reason behind Barcelona’s move to sell him in the winter. The Catalans are wary of the midfielder’s valuation dropping sharply once he enters the final twelve months of his contract and want to avoid such a situation.
Rakitic seemingly has no shortage of suitors as Serie A giants Inter Milan are still monitoring his situation, having already tried to sign him in the summer transfer window. The report further adds that the Nerazzurri have already made contact with Barcelona to let them know of their interest in the 31-year-old.
Along with Inter, the report states that there is some interest from Premier League bigwigs Manchester United, who were also linked with Rakitic in the summer. The Red Devils find themselves in the twelfth place in the league, after a stuttering start to the new season and are looking at reinforcing their squad in January.
While a new striker is believed to be manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s priority, Manchester United could do with boosting their midfield as well, with the likes of Fred, Nemanja Matic and Andreas Pereira struggling badly. And Rakitic, despite being 31 years old, would be an improvement on many of the options at the disposal of the United manager.
Barcelona are reportedly set to demand €40 million for Rakitic, which shouldn’t really be a problem for Manchester United. However, it remains to be seen if they are willing to invest so much in a player who will be turning 32 in March next year, given their youth-centered recruitment policy under Solskjaer.