Ivan Rakitic puts Manchester United and Juventus on red alert as he ‘looks for Barcelona exit’ in January after warming the bench this season
- Ivan Rakitic has his eye on a January exit from Barcelona in a bid for more games
- The 31-year-old was a regular in Ernseto Valverde’s starting XI last season
- But he’s made six of his seven appearances from the bench this campaign
- Reports in Spain suggest that Manchester United and Juventus are interested
Ivan Rakitic has put Manchester United and Juventus on red alert as reports suggest the Croatian has his eye on a January exit from Barcelona, having previously stated: ‘I need to play.’
The 31-year-old, who was a regular in Ernseto Valverde’s starting XI last season, has made six of his seven appearances from the bench this campaign, as the manager has opted to start summer-signing Frenkie de Jong.
He’s also behind Sergio Busquets and Arthur Melo in the pecking order, and Marca in Spain suggest that if this stays the case he will try to force a move away in the winter window.
Ivan Rakitic has put Manchester United and Juventus on red alert as he looks set for a move
They say the midfielder is ‘seriously weighing up the possibility’ of ending his five-year association with the Spanish giants.
‘It’s tough because I want to play and not just be part of the team,’ Rakitic told Croatian media outlet 24sata last week while on international duty.
‘I will do everything possible to change my situation. I have two years left on my deal and there’s no better place to play than Barcelona.
Manchester United may be the likely destination for him, with the club said to be interested
‘It’s the best club in the world, but I need to play and not just enjoy walks around the city and the beach.’
In the summer, Serie A champions Juventus were interested in Rakitic, with Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly even calling the pass master to convince him to make the move to Italy, but Juve could not match Barcelona’s asking price.
The Serie A champions also have a stacked midfield, with their own summer signing Adrien Rabiot struggling for game time, behind Blaise Matuidi, Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira and Aaron Ramsey in the pecking order.
Ivan Rakitic has discussed ending his five-year spell with Barcelona having falling out of favour
Therefore, struggling Manchester United may be the more likely destination for the Croat as he aims to play both in Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup with his national team.
Rakitic, who joined Barca from Sevilla in 2014, said that he has even spoken to president Josep Bartomeu and captain Lionel Messi about his prospects.
‘I spoke with people at the club everyone knew I had other options. I want to fight so that the team see me ready to deliver on the pitch.
The manager has opted to start summer-signing Frenkie de Jong ahead of Rakitic this season
‘I want to thank the fans for the affection they showed me this weekend, but if nothing changed, we will have to sit down and talk about my situation again.’
RAKITIC’S SEASON IN NUMERS
Languishing in 12th, United may not be the most glitzy option but the Old Trafford side could guarantee regular football, something Rakitic has made clear that he needs.
The La Liga champions are said to want at least £34million for the playmaker, with Inter Milan also interested.
He is one of a string of players who have passed the age of 30 in an ageing Barcelona side, something the board and management are wary of.
‘Operacion futuro’ has been rolled out at the Nou Camp, with the signing of De Jong working in tandem with youth prospects being brought through this season.
Valverde has handed debuts to 14 La Masia products during his tenure, something that could contribute to the dusk of Rakitic’s stint in Catalonia.