Pep Guardiola’s side are showing great resilience in keeping their lead at the top of the Premier League points table but the manager is evidently unhappy with the squad and is sure to spend on star players in the summer transfer window. The spending power the English outfit has, has seen them linked with some of the finest players in Europe and one player Guardiola is keen on is Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic.
The Croatian international remains one of the most important players at Camp Nou at the moment but has been linked with an exit since the summer transfer window. The additions of the likes of Paulinho and Philippe Coutinho has pushed him down the pecking order and he might be tempted to quit the club come the end of the season.
And reports from Spain now claim that the 29-year old is already looking at options to improve on his game time and the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City are both extensively linked with a move for the midfielder. But is he the right fit for Pep?
Born and brought up in Switzerland, Rakitic made a name for himself playing for clubs like FC Basel, Schalke and Sevilla, before he was snapped up by Barcelona in 2014. Though he has not been the first choice, he has been an integral part of the squad and has lifted a couple of La Liga titles and a UCL title in his time at Camp Nou.
At 29, he is an experienced international and has 238 La Liga appearances, where he has 45 goals and 50 assists to his name. He also has 88 international appearances for Croatian and is one of the most experienced midfielders in Europe at the moment.
A decent dribbler with a knack to find spaces in the final third, Rakitic is a smart footballer, who often finds himself in the right place at the right time. He has great touch and technique, that allow him to create chances while his understanding of the game allow him to control the tempo and win the ball back quickly.
At his age, he may not be a long-term option but is exactly the kind of player Guardiola needs at Etihad. With Fernandinho as the only CDM in a 4-3-3 system, the manager might want to look at players who can take up the Brazilian’s role but he will also have to improve on options in the other two midfield roles and Rakitic is as good an option as any.
He might have to fight with the likes of David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne to break into the first team but he will certainly get his chances and can start a legacy in England. But do you think he is the right man for Pep?
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