Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has identified Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic as the "missing link" and could target him in the summer, the Mirror have reported.
The 29-year-old has been a regular under Ernesto Valverde this season but that could change depending on the club's business in the next transfer window.
If Barcelona sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid, Philippe Coutinho is expected to be played in a deeper role, leaving Rakitic with fewer opportunities.
That could mean that the Croatian is considered dispensable, and United may be a favourable destination.
It remains to be seen whether any of this will truly materialise. United's hopes of signing Rakitic certainly seem dependant on a number of factors working in their favour.
And the former Sevilla man has expressed no desire to leave the club in the near future. He made his 200th appearance for Barcelona against Las Palmas last week, admitting before the game that he had not expected to reach the landmark.
"I didn't pick a number. What you always want is more," Rakitic told Sport. "It's an impressive number.
"If someone had told me a little more than three and a half years ago I would get to 200 games, I would have told them 'tell me another one'. The only thing i want is to play more and that this never stops."
Rakitic has made 38 appearances in all competitions so far this season, scoring four goals and providing four assists.