Croatian playmaker and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic could be on his way out of the Catalan club after just six months and heading for England with both Manchester United and Manchester City interested, according to the Daily Express.
Barcelona’s big summer signing from La Liga rivals Sevilla has failed to reach the heights he displayed during his time with Los Rojiblanco’s. With reports suggesting Luis Enrique is now ready to cut ties with the player.
Both Manchester United and Manchester City are now on alert, as despite only moving in the summer the Barcelona hierarchy are questioning whether his attributes fit in with traditional Barcelona philosophies.
Although Rakitic has made 20 appearances in all competitions for the Camp Nou side, he is now playing second fiddle to veteran Xavi.
Manchester City reportedly held an interest in the summer before the Croatian international chose Barcelona, and with Frank Lampard’s meant to finish in January, Manuel Pellegrini could make a move for the former Sevilla captain.
Rakitic has already played in the Champions League for Barcelona, so he would be cup-tied if he joined another club that is playing in the European competition in January.
Manchester City’s attempt to sign Rakitic would be matched by Manchester United, as Louis Van Gaal is still looking to grow his squad as the Red Devils push for a top-four finish and perhaps even the title.
Ivan Rakitic has played in Spain and Germany but has yet to play at club level in England. He would join an elite collection of Croatians who have plyed their trade in England including Luka Modric and the former Croatian national team manager Slaven Bilic if he made the move.
But with Barcelona’s transfer embargo in place for the next two transfer windows, would Barcelona want to sell when they cannot replace him?