From Spain: Manchester United set to rival Manchester City for Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic

by Leo Nieboer

Manchester United face a battle with Manchester City to secure the services of Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic in the summer, according to reports from Spain.

Jose Mourinho is on the lookout for midfield reinforcements in the summer ahead of Michael Carrick‘s retirement and Marouane Fellaini‘s likely departure from the club.

Reports have recently suggested that the 55-year-old views Rakitic, who joined Barcelona in 2014, as the missing piece in his midfield jigsaw for next season.

And according to Spanish media outlet Diaro Gol, Man City have also established interest in the Croat and will rival Man United in their pursuit of his services in the summer.

Jean Michael Seri, Fred, Jorginho and now Rakitic have all been cited as targets that United and City will scrap over in the summer. Both sides, with Carrick and Yaya Toure set to leave, are looking for an injection of something new for next season, but that means two different things depending on whether you are Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola.

While the latter is on the lookout for competition for Fernandinho in defensive midfield, Mourinho will be after a player capable of performing defensive duties and circulating the ball in equal measure.

In this sense, Rakitic feels like a good fit: technically very sound in possession, good vision, physically imposing, capable of having an effect in the final third, loquacious in his passing.

His positional sense, especially against a low block, can occasionally frustrate, but he would no doubt add a layer of melodiousness to what United currently boast in midfield.


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