Manchester United have been linked with a summer approach for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic in a bid to replace departing fan favourite Ander Herrera, with the Catalans rumoured to be open to selling a number of players as part of a squad rebuild ahead of next season.

It is not the first time that United have been credited with interest in the Croatian star, although earlier rumours dried up as interest cooled when new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to have calmed the uncertainty surrounding Paul Pogba.


However, now that Pogba's future is once again the subject of enormous speculation after a terrible end to the season it makes sense that United could potentially be exploring midfield options.

Journalist Duncan Castles writes for the Daily Record that United are already 'working on a deal' for Rakitic and are 'pushing to secure an agreement'. It is also said that the Old Trafford club are willing to pay in excess of £30m for the Croatian, even though he turned 31 in March.

Rakitic would certainly bring quality and experience to the United squad, with Castles specifically noting that he would add strength in midfield from 'both an attacking and defensive perspective'.

There are also few doubts over the player's fitness, despite his age, as he has never played fewer than 51 games in any of his five seasons with Barcelona, or 267 in total. To put that into context in terms of reliability, Phil Jones has played 216 games for United in eight years.

However, negotiating a deal is not likely to be without hurdles. Castles writes that Barcelona value Rakitic at €55m (£48.5m), which is significantly more than United's valuation in the region of £30m. It is also said that Rakitic 'would have to be persuaded to move to England'.

It would also mean leaving Barcelona, both in terms of football and his life off the pitch, and that is also something that he would need to be persuaded to do after the player himself expressed in an interview with Mundo Deportivo (MD) just this week how happy he is.

"For my part, there is no doubt. I have three years of contract and this is the place where I want to be, where I am happy," Rakitic told the newspaper.

"I'm doing very well here and I have no other thoughts. I can understand that [you ask questions] and that everyone has their opinion. I respect it but I've never thought of leaving.

"I'm where I want to be and if [other teams] think about me it's because I'm doing things well, but I'm happy at Barça, my family too and the girls are happy. I do not have other thoughts."

The player also stated his desire to 'win another Champions [League] and many more titles' with Barcelona. And with United not even able to offer Champions League football next season after failing to finish in the Premier League top four, the club are likely to have their work cut out.