Manchester United are prioritising a summer deal for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic and are prepared to pay €40m, according to reports.
Diario Sport cites a report in the Express that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘wants to rebuild’ his team and sees the Croatian midfielder as a key part of such a project.
This follows on from a report from Daily Record journalist Duncan Castles that the Red Devils hold an interest in the player but that the Blaugrana are holding out for a €55m fee.
It is claimed United are desperate to bolster their central midfielder – Marouane Fellaini left in January while Ander Herrera is leaving on a free transfer this summer.
The Croatian international’s current deal at the Camp Nou runs through until the summer of 2021 although Barca signed midfielders Arturo Vidal and Arthur Melo last summer and have a deal to sign Frenkie De Jong from Ajax this summer.
Barca do not want to increase the player’s salary at the club despite rejecting an approach from Paris Saint-Germain this summer – with Rakitic reportedly claiming he had been promised a salary raise.
Rakitic has won his fourth league title in five years with Barca, whom he joined from Sevilla in the summer of 2014 for a reported €18m.
The Croatian has also won four Copa del Rey titles and the Champions League in that time, scoring 35 goals across 267 appearances.