Manchester clubs target unsettled Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic
Although the Croatia international midfielder has started 11 of his side’s 15 league games so far, his boss Luis Enrique and club fans are seemingly unimpressed with his performances.
As a result, veteran Xavi is being used more and more with Barca slipping further behind leaders Real Madrid this season, now by four points. Rakitic was also subbed off early in the most recent 0-0 draw with Getafe, while club captain Xavi stayed on.
There are reports that Rakitic simply doesn’t fit into Barcelona’s style, so he has been linked to England, where many of his compatriots, such as Luka Modric, have highly impressed in the past.
A move to Manchester seems the most likely destination for the 26-year-old, if he were to leave, with the Red Devils scouring the globe for a midfielder.
United boss Louis van Gaal had wanted his Dutch compatriot Kevin Strootman, but current club Roma are standing firm in their bid to keep the recently injured player. Rakitic, therefore, would represent a more accessible and cheaper option.
For City, meanwhile, they face losing on loan superstar Frank Lampard, who, despite his advancing years, has highly impressed since joining from parent club New York City in the summer, after his release from Chelsea.
The Sky Blues will need to battle it out with themselves (they also own the MLS outfit) to keep Lampard, but Rakitic would not be a bad replacement.
Swiss-born Croatian Rakitic started his career for Basel, before moving to the Bundesliga with Schalke. His impressive performances earned him a transfer to Spain with Sevilla, where he spent three-and-a-half seasons, winning the Europa League last season with them, before joining Barca this summer.
Rakitic has scored four goals and made three assists for the Catalan club so far in his 20 appearances in all competitions. Barca face Man City next in the first knockout round of the Champions League, and are 6/1 chances to win the competition.