According to Don Balon, Manchester United and Manchester City have held talks with Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic. The 29-year-old, who joined from Sevilla in 2014, could be considering his future following the arrival of Philippe Coutinho.
The report suggests game time could allude the Croatian international as a result of the Brazilian’s arrival. Rakitic has made more than 190 appearances for Barcelona in the last four years and remains an ever-present this campaign too – playing in 21 of their 22 La Liga outings so far.
However, the midfielder did lose his place in the side for Coutinho in Sunday’s draw with Espanyol which may hint that the ex-Liverpool playmaker could become a regular in his stead. It’s worth noting Lionel Messi was benched for the weekend fixture also.
There is a lot of competition in the Barcelona midfield this season, with Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Paulinho, Denis Suarez and now Coutinho all desperate to feature. Iniesta isn’t getting any younger, however, and is in the twilight years of his career. Rakitic should outlast him at this rate.
It’s ambitious for Manchester United to target the Barcelona star, but it’s hard to see how they let him leave with such an ageing midfield around him. Manager Jose Mourinho is in the market for another face in the engine room, With Michael Carrick retiring and Marouane Fellaini’s future uncertain, but Rakitic might be too bold.
Manchester City are looking to replace the likes of Yaya Toure and potentially keeping an eye on Fernandinho’s advancing age, but Barcelona won’t part with a regularly-playing midfielder unless forced.