Sunday 18 February 2018

Jose Mourinho reportedly attempted to sign Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic this summer

Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic
Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic

Samuel Lovett

Manchester United made an attempt to sign Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic this summer, according to reports in Spain.

Despite landing Paul Pogba in a record-breaking deal, El Mundo Deportivo has suggested that Jose Mourinho enquired about signing the Barcelona midfielder.

The Portuguese manager reportedly picked up on reports that the Croatian international had grown unsettled at Barcelona.

In July, the Catalonians announced the signing of Valencia midfielder Andre Gomes, who joined in a deal worth around £50m.

The transfer prompted speculation over Rakitic’s future at the La Liga club, which was further intensified when the player’s representative Miquel Sors tweeted: “It’s time to go.”

Ratikic was quick to dispel the rumours though, posting on his Instagram: "Getting ready for the new season and really up for it. By the way, my only agent is Arturo Canales.”

United may well have registered their interest amid this period but they weren’t the only ones.

The Spanish reports suggest Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was also keeping tabs on the player over the summer.

Serie A champions Juventus were similarly interesting in signing Rakitic as a replacement for Paul Pogba.

This interest waned, however, once they had secured Roma’s Miralem Pjanic from rivals Roma.

The Croatian now looks set to extend his contract which currently runs to 2019.

Ratikic has featured in all of Barcelona's games this season, including the 6-2 thrashing of Real Betis, and the 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao last weekend in which he scored.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are also believed to be on the verge of being offered new deals by the club.

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