We are less than ten days away from the transfer window deadline this summer in England but Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer and Manchester United are still active in the transfer market, looking for players who can improve the squad.
They have been linked with a host of big names from Europe, and Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic is now on their radar, as per Spanish website Sport.
According to the story, The Red Devils are not confident of holding onto Paul Pogba this summer, and see the Croatian as an ideal replacement. But is this the right move by Solsjkaer?
Ivan Rakitic’s numbers and whether or not he can replace Pogba
Having started his senior career with Basel in 2005, Rakitic first moved to Spain with Sevilla back in 2011. He spent just three seasons at the club, as a regular first-team star, before being picked up by Barcelona in 2014.
Ever since, the 31-year old has been a regular in the first team, registering 34 goals and 37 assists in 268 games for the Catalan giants in all competitions.
Having started off as an attacking midfielder, Rakitic was mainly used in a withdrawn role in the last couple of seasons at Camp Nou. He has been surprisingly effective in that role, but Barcelona now have too many options in the midfield and are ready to let him leave this summer.
A technically gifted player, Rakitic can control the tempo of the game from the middle of the park. He is adept at starting attacks for his side from deep inside his own half.
What makes him that much more effective is his ability to read the game and break up play in dangerous areas.
He is strong in hold up play, can carry the ball under pressure and even at 31, shows great energy on the field, chasing lost causes if needed. His experience will certainly be valuable for The Red Devils next season.
There are very few players in world football at the moment that can replace the French sensation, but the 31-year-old Croat is not one of them.
Rakitic made 29 La Liga starts last season, registering three goals and five assists. He could be more productive if played in an attack role but at his age, he is no longer the dynamic presence in the midfield United are looking for.
It would make lots of sense for Solskjaer to sign Rakitic if he wants to play the former Schalke man alongside Pogba, but Rakitic is just not the right man to take Pogba’s place in the side.