Manchester United could be moving closer to securing an agreement to bring in Croatian midfielder, Ivan Rakitic.
The Barcelona man has been on the list of potential signings for the Red Devils for some time now, and according to Spanish publication, Sport, United have opened talks to bring in the midfielder.
The 31-year-old has found appearances hard to come by at the Camp Nou this season despite being a key figure at the club over the last few years, making only one La Liga start this term.
However, that hasn’t put United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer off being keen on bringing the Croatian midfielder into the club, despite Rakitic being over 30 and perhaps outside of the model adopted in the summer at Old Trafford, a model which saw them sign Harry Maguire, Dan James, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Rakitic has had plenty of success while in Barcelona and was also part of the Croatia team which reached the World Cup final last year before losing out to France. Indeed, it could well be that winning mentality and experience which is drawing United towards signing Rakitic, given he has won the Champions League and four La Liga titles during his time with the Catalan giants.
United would be looking for Rakitic to be at his creative best if he does sign, with his 2016/17 stats of eight goals and five assists in the league suggesting he can indeed be an attacking force for the club. Last season, he made more passes a game (74.6) than anyone in the United squad according to WhoScored, so could perhaps offer a steady presence in the engine room and create a better link to the attack, with the Red Devils struggling to break down the likes of Newcastle, Rochdale and AZ Alkmaar of late.
While leaning on young players can obviously be a good thing in terms of a long-term strategy, sometimes big clubs need some proven quality and Rakitic’s spell with Barca and his form for Croatia show he can do it at the top level.
31 isn’t too old when you consider he was a regular last season and was recently in a World Cup final, he might be an ideal signing to bring in alongside younger players at Old Trafford.
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