Manchester United are plotting a move for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic next summer. According to recent reports in the Spanish press, the Red Devils will go head to head with their crosstown rivals Manchester City in pursuit of the Croatian midfielder’s signature. It is believed that Jose Mourinho’s side will ‘face competition’ from the Citizens if they plan to secure the services of the La Liga midfielder. Some sources claim that both Manchester clubs have made contact with the Barcelona player over a potential move to the Premier League in the summer.
The 29-year-old has been an integral member of the Catalan side this term, but he is reportedly eager to move into a fresh challenge at the end of the current season. It is also being reported that Rakitic fears his current position at Barcelona might not be a certainty as the La Liga giants look to accommodate their new January arrival, Philippe Coutinho into Ernesto Valverde’s first-team.
However, it is understood that any potential switch to English football would only be on a short-term basis as the Croatian midfielder would only be willing to leave Spain for no more than three years.
Manchester United are currently occupying the second place in the Premier League standings with a tally of 56 points in 26 league matches. In any other season, Jose Mourinho’s side would be well in contention of winning the league but the record-breaking form of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City has seen them fall behind in the race for the league title. The Citizens of Manchester are leading the Premier League by a staggering 13 points with the Red Devils desperately trying to play catch up with their ‘noisy neighbours’.
The potential addition of Rakitic in the summer will undoubtedly bolster Jose Mourinho’s midfield options at United and help them in their quest to bridge the gap between themselves and City in the coming years. The Croatian can play as a holding midfielder or in a more attacking role in central midfield which could turn out to be an ideal asset for Mourinho as he aims to deliver the Premier League for the first time since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford. The 29-year-old has featured in 35 matches for Barcelona this season, scoring 3 goals and providing 4 assists in all competitions.
It remains to be seen what lies ahead in the future of Rakitic and whether Manchester United are successful in fending off stiff competition from Manchester City in pursuit of the midfielder’s signature.
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