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Manchester clubs target unsettled Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic

| 17.12.2014

Premier League title chances Manchester United (12/1 with Coral) and City (11/4) are reportedly lining up £20m bids to sign Ivan Rakitic from La Liga second-favourites Barcelona (2/1) in January.

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.

Premier League Tips
Hertha to beat Hoffenheim
Schalke to beat Dortmund
Dusseldorf to win at Paderborn


Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.