The Missing Link - Signing This Barcelona Star Could Make Manchester United Great Again
For all of Manchester United's improvements under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in recent months it is clear that some serious investment in the squad will be needed this summer and there are a couple of positions that desperately need reinforcing before they can become Premier League title challengers again.
A new centre-back should be top of the shopping list when the transfer window opens up and another midfielder should also be a priority as they look to add a bit of quality to an area that is a mixture of world-class talent and mediocrity at the moment.
Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba have been hugely impressive of late, but the ageing legs of Nemanja Matic won't last forever and the jury is still out on Scott McTominay. Fred has time on his side but has been one of the worst signings of the season on the evidence so far, while Juan Mata and Andreas Perreira are still waiting on extensions to contracts that expire at the end of the season.
It is a decent midfield without setting the world alight and it is no surprise to see that Ivan Rakitic is a player who could feature highly on any transfer shortlist. The Barcelona star is likely to find his game time limited next season as the young prodigy Frenkie de Jong is set to arrive from Ajax this summer and Rakitic could be pushed to the fringes.
The Croatian, who has been capped 107 times by his country, has been a consistent performer for the La Liga leaders this term, scoring four goals and laying on seven assists in all competitions.
Rakitic was more of an attacking threat in his younger days at Sevilla as he scored 32 goals and effected 41 assists in 149 appearances for the Spanish side before moving in 2014 to Barca, where he has scored 33 goals and laid on 34 assists in his 252 games.
Rakitic's goal output has been diminished at the Camp Nou but he is a more rounded, versatile player nowadays, one who can play a holding role, centrally or further forward.
The 30-year-old, who is under contract with Barcelona until 2021, could be an ideal addition to the Manchester United midfield and he is exactly the sort of player - along with a few other desperately needed signings - who can help take the Red Devils from top-four hopefuls to title challengers once more.
It's reported that Barcelona are asking for around £100M for the 30 year old...