Man Utd to battle Milan as Barcelona make midfielder available

Date published: Saturday 15th July 2017 1:24

Manchester United and AC Milan have reportedly been put on alert amid claims Barcelona are ready to sell midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

United boss Jose Mourinho is in the hunt for a new central midfielder this summer and, having been linked with moves for Eric Dier, Nemanja Matic and Fabinho, has admitted his transfer dealings this summer are “only 50% done”.

But deals for the trio look complicated, with Spurs determined to keep Dier, Monaco’s Fabinho very much a man in demand and Chelsea seemingly unwilling to do business with United over Matic.

However, United could have more joy if they chase a deal for Rakitic, with reports in Spain suggesting Barcelona are ready to cash in on the midfielder.

Don Balon claims the player has been told by new boss Ernesto Valverde he will become surplus to requirements should the Blaugrana succeed in their efforts to land Marco Verratti from PSG. The report claims Rakitic will be sold to the highest bidder to help fund a move for Italy star Verratti, with the fee expected to hit €100million.

The outlet makes no claim as to what price Rakitic could be sold for, but given Chelsea are seeking £40million for Matic – who at 29 on August 1 is a similar age to Rakitic, that seems like a likely price given current market rates.

Rakitic is contracted to Barcelona for 2020, having signed a new deal on his 29th birthday back in March.

Ivan Rakitic: Man U link

United, however, could have severe competition for Rakitic in the form of AC Milan, who are also chasing the Croatian.

The arrival on Friday of Leonardo Bonucci and Lucas Biglia took the Rossoneri’s spending to €207million so far this summer and it seems they are not done yet.

Rakitic joined the Catalan giants from Sevilla in 2014 and has now made 159 appearances for the club, scoring 26 times.

Although better known as an attacking midfielder, the player is capable of playing in a deeper role and could yet find himself plying his trade in the Premier League before the start of next season.

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