Manchester United may have been handed a significant boost to their transfer plans this week following developments in the Champions League.
While the Red Devils will be disappointed not to have taken part in the quarter-finals after their round-of-16 defeat to Sevilla, there was some good news regarding Barcelona after their exit at the hands of Roma.
CaughtOffside understands Ivan Rakitic is now more or less convinced he will look to leave Barcelona for United this summer following talks with Jose Mourinho in recent weeks.
The Croatia international feels now is time for a new challenge after Barca’s struggles, adding to previous concerns about his own role in the team next season.
Barcelona are likely to strengthen with signings in midfield that could limit Rakitic’s playing time, and he’s now eager to accept an offer to become a key player for Mourinho.
Diario Gol recently claimed Rakitic was considering a tempting offer from United, and it seems Barcelona’s hugely disappointing result at the Stadio Olimpico may have sealed his fate.
The 30-year-old should be an ideal fit for Mourinho’s needs right now in the middle of the park following other links with big-name midfielders around Europe.
Toni Kroos, Jorginho, Jean Seri and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are just some of the options United have been linked with in recent months as Michael Carrick is set to retire in the summer.
Rakitic is a similar style of central midfield ball-player to those, and he’ll also add experience and winning know-how to a largely youthful squad that is a far cry from previous ones at Old Trafford.
Not only did Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 hit the club hard, but the subsequent departures of seasoned winners like Ryan Giggs, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand without adequate replacements has also been a big factor.
Rakitic has won a number of major honours in his time at the Nou Camp and could be a critical addition to help usher through a new generation at United.
United just need Barcelona to agree to sell the former Sevilla man, with a deal likely to cost around €80million.