€40m Manchester United target: 'Has the quality to play for Barcelona'

Have Manchester United's chances of signing Ivan Rakitic been dealt a blow or not?

Manchester United are one of the sides linked with the signature of Ivan Rakitic of Sevilla, but the Croatian's recent link with Barcelona is ominous to say the least.

The 25-year-old's contract in Seville runs down in June 2015, and he has been tipped as a potential midfield target for Liverpool and Manchester United on numerous occasions by the press in the UK and abroad.

His talent has not gone unnoticed, it was reported earlier this month that Barcelona had made an approach for the midfield talent, and manager Tata Martino has praised the midfielder.

Speaking after Barcelona's win over Sevilla at the weekend, the Chilean told reporters:

"Rakitic has the potential and the quality to play in Barcelona. Sevilla should fight hard to keep him, he's very good at set-pieces and is dangerous when he has the ball."

Whether it can be taken as an obvious statement that Martino wants to sign him is debatable, for his tip for Sevilla to try and hang onto him could come back to bite him.

It's clear though that a player who 'has the quality' to play for Barcelona is one Manchester United should be interested in, although Rakitic's qualities should be no secret.

The central midfielder has 10 goals in La Liga this season and seven assists, and to David Moyes' delight... he tops the Spanish top flight in terms of accurate crosses per game.

He has a release clause of €40 million, while excessive for a player with a year left on his contract, if Sevilla won't deal for any other price, he would be a good bet to be excellent value for money even at that price.

image: © mariosp

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