Jose Mourinho identifies Barcelona star as the missing piece in his midfield jigsaw
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly prepared to step up the club's interest in Ivan Rakitic, whose future at Barcelona could be in doubt beyond the summer.
The Croatia international has been a credible performer for the Catalan giants over the years, but they are doubts over his position amid Barcelona's alleged attempt to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.
Griezmann usually plys his trade in the frontline, and it is suggested that his arrival could coincide with Philippe Coutinho dropping into a midfield role, which may, in turn, hamper Rakitic's gametime.
According to Diario Gol, Mourinho is desperate to get his hands on the former Sevilla captain, who has been earmarked as the missing piece in his midfield combination.
The Red Devils are due to lose skipper Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini at the end of the campaign, and Rakitic has seemingly been identified as a replacement for the former, who is due to join United in a coaching capacity next term.
Rakitic, who has earned 88 caps with the Croatian national side, has contributed four goals and as many assists for Barcelona in all competitions this season.