The Barcelona midfielder was linked with a move away from the Nou Camp over the summer and could yet leave in January, but is United his next choice?
Manchester United started their season very strong, thrashing Chelsea 4-0 at home. However, lately their form has dropped from bad to worse. Ole Gunnar Solkjaer’s men have been subject to constant criticism over the last month.
The Red Devils lost to West Ham and Newcastle while drew against Arsenal. The are up against table toppers Liverpool at home on 20th October. A defensive overhaul did bear fruit with United being one of the most successful English sided when defending.
However, ruthlessness in attacks, no mid-field control and injuries have been haunting the club badly. United are keen to bolster the squad in January and could see a number player joining them. Inter Milan and Juventus are also keeping tabs on the Croatian.
Ivan Rakitic appears as the club’s top priority. With Matic out of favour and Fred losing his form, the club needs a controlling mid-fielder. They need a player who can connect the defence with the attack. Rakitic happens to be one of the most versatile players in the world. However, with the arrival of Frankie De Jong, Rakitic has lost his first-team spot. He can play as a CDM, CM, and CAM. Partnering Rakitic with Mctominay could prove very successful for the club.
While also allowing Pogba to play higher up the pitch, in his suited position. Although, 31, the Croatian International can play in the top leagues for another 3-4 years. With the only possible alternatives, Toni Kroos and Emre can. Both would be preferred to stay where they are. Solkjaer will be desperate to solve his mid-field crisis in order to reignite the club’s top 4 hopes.
But what does the player want…
Rakitic has 5 glorious years at Barcelona. He has won 14 major trophies with the Catalans. These include a Champions League and 4 La Liga titles. He had made a staggering 275 appearances for the Catalans and hopes to make more.
Although his position has since been taken over by Dutch International, Frenkie De Jong. Newspapers claim that Rakitic is looking for a way out of Barcelona. According to ESPN, a move for Rakitic could prove difficult because the player is not convinced by a move to England.
The 31-year-old doesn’t want to move to Manchester for family reasons, and he may be more inclined to either stay in Spain or go back to his native Croatia. The news would come as a blow to United, who have identified the central midfield position as one which could do with an upgrade in their squad.
Although Scott McTominay is impressing, his midfield partner Fred has still not looked anything like the same player United signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2018, and the experience and winning attitude of Rakitic could have added a lot.
If a move for Rakitic is unsuccessful United will most likely turn to West Ham’s Rice, but with the 19-year-old on a contract which runs until 2024, the England international will not come cheap. Other players that United will look to sign are- Mario Mandzukic, Emre Can, Thomas Muller, James Maddison and Jaden Sancho.