Manchester United ‘open talks’ with Barcelona over midfielder

According to reports in Spain over the last 24 hours, Manchester United have entered into preliminary negotiations with Barcelona regarding midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

Box-to-box presence

Since having made the move to the Camp Nou from Sevilla in 2014, Croatian star Rakitic has gone on to establish himself as a key member of the Catalans’ squad, racking up 2 La Liga titles, 3 Copa Del Reys and the Champions League in his three seasons with the club.

The 30-year-old has proven crucial to the Blaugrana’s successes once again this season, appearing in 30 of his side’s 31 La Liga fixtures (27 starts), with his minutes across all competitions only bettered by Marc-André ter Stegen, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to this point in the campaign.

Ivan Rakitic

BARCELONA, SPAIN – AUGUST 13: Ivan Rakitic of Barcelona reacts during the Supercopa de Espana Supercopa Final 1st Leg match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou on August 13, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images,)

Suitors

However, despite his integral role in Catalunya, Rakitic has been heavily linked with a possible departure from Barca over the last year, with the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Juventus having reportedly made approaches for the former Basel and Schalke man last summer.

PL battle

A report from Diario Gol last month ensured that Manchester United were ready to reignite their chase of Rakitic upon the re-opening of the transfer market this summer, with a substantial offer said to be in the pipeline.

And, as per an update courtesy of fellow Spanish outlet Don Balon today, the Red Devils have reportedly already ‘held preliminary talks’ with Barcelona regarding an offer for Rakitic at the end of the season, with Jose Mourinho having identified the 90-time capped Croatian international as the ideal addition to his side’s midfield.

Fulham refusing to sell Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool target

Jose Mourinho casts doubt on future of Man United pair Rashford and Martial