Manchester United are ready to make a £20 million move for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, according to the Express.
It has been suggested that Rakitic, who only joined the Spanish giants this past summer, is unhappy at playing second fiddle to veteran Xavi at the Nou Camp, and is already willing to leave the club.
And, with Manchester United set to splash the cash once again in 2015, it appears that Louis van Gaal is looking to bring the player to the Theatre of Dreams after the club previously attempted to sign him before his move to the Catalans.
In fact, it has been suggested that the United hierarchy see Rakitic as an alternative to Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman. The Red Devils have been linked with Dutchman Strootman for some time now, but it appears that they could now be ready to turn their attentions to the Barcelona man.
It remains to be seen, however, as to whether Barcelona would be willing to enter negotiations with Manchester United over the Croatian, whilst the Red Devils could have quite the battle on their hands as they look to recruit the same player.
Article continues below
That's because their Premier League rivals Manchester City have been credited with interest in the 26-year-old, with it being suggested that Manuel Pellegrini and Co. at the Etihad are ready to match the £20m that United are set to offer.
City appear to be on the lookout for a new central midfielder as they go in search of replacing veteran Frank Lampard who has enjoyed a brilliant opening to this Premier League season.
There's no doubt about it, Rakitic would improve both United's and City's options in the midfield department, with £20m looking like good business.
For now, though, Manchester United will be concentrating on this weekend's Premier League schedule as the Red Devils travel to Villa Park to take on Aston Villa, whilst Manchester City are set to take on Crystal Palace in the early kick-off.
Manchester United and Manchester City fans: Do you want your clubs to sign Rakitic? Have your say in the comments section below!