Transfer speculation is already starting to mount with the season still technically unfinished. As it customary, Manchester United have been linked with players left, right and centre and it is wishful thinking if you think the rumours will abate anytime soon.
One of those mentioned with a move to United is Barcelona midfielder and World Cup runner-up Ivan Rakitic. The Croatian international has seen his future become a talking point at the Camp Nou due to the form of Arthur Melo and the impending arrival of Dutch superstar Frenkie De Jong.
With Ander Herrera leaving, doubts over Fred long term and the futures of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba unclear, the rumours make sense in that United will be looking to strengthen the engine room this summer.
Rakitic has been instrumental in much of Barcelona’s play in recent years so it would come as a surprise if he were to leave the Spanish champions in the summer.
Their club legend Rivaldo has weighed into the rumours and hopes that his former employers do not sever their ties with the Croat. Speaking in an interview with Betfair, the Brazilian alluded to the fact United are going through a transitional phase but acknowledged the pull they still possess:
‘While United is a big club, with great tradition, I still think the Croatian has enough football to keep playing for Barcelona, as he is a great player. United are passing through a bad moment, but their tradition is huge and any big player would like to play for them at Old Trafford’.
Rakitic has undoubted class, but United have been down the route of big, ageing names on big money with not much success to show for it.
Rafael Hernández, a well-known Barcelona mouthpiece on Twitter, was unhappy with Rakitic’s antics after being substituted in their Copa del Rey final defeat against Valencia last night.
And, his tweet below strongly suggests that some Barça have had enough.
Rakitic kicked the water bottles after being subbed out. Out of my club as soon as possible!
— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) May 25, 2019
Moreover, I’m sure many would rather United target the likes of West Ham’s Declan Rice and others such as Tanguy N’Dombele in what would represent a new recruitment strategy,
As United cannot offer Champions League football for at least one season, that would mean throwing huge money at players who are guaranteed that level at their current players.
We sense this one does not have many mileage in it.