Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has dismissed suggestions the Italian champions are interested in signing Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
Rakitic has won multiple major honours during his time at Barcelona but is currently struggling for game time and has been linked with an exit.
Have Juventus opened the door for Man Utd to sign Rakitic? Five things to know…
- Rakitic was rumoured to be on his way out of Barcelona in the summer.
- He ended up staying put, but has found his game time severely reduced.
- The Croatian has played just 157 minutes of La Liga football this season and is reportedly considering a move.
- Juventus have denied any interest in signing Rakitic.
- Man Utd are in need of more quality in midfield and could turn to the 31-year-old, having been previously linked.
Juventus were considered a possible destination for the Croatian, who was also mooted as a player who could have moved to PSG in exchange for Neymar in the summer.
But Paratici has denied that Juventus are interested in Rakitic, insisting the current squad at Maurizio Sarri’s disposal already possesses enough quality to compete.
When asked about Rakitic, Paratici said: “Our squad is complete and we consider it to be one of the best in Europe.
“We’re happy with our players. I’d rule out the arrival of a full-back. With Mandzukic, we chose a quiet time for him [to leave] but a move to Qatar did not materialise so he stayed with us.
“Now we’ll see what happens in January.”
“Rakitic is the man for Man Utd”
Scott McTominay has been one of Man Utd’s best performers so far this season, but there have been doubts about the balance in Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer’s midfield as a unit.
In a recent episode of the Squawka Talker podcast, Squawka’s chief writer Muhammad Butt suggested Rakitic would drastically improve Man Utd’s midfield and give McTominay the opportunity to find his true role.
He said: “If you put him [McTominay] between a top-class number six and number 10 he’d be brilliant, he’d be the runner, he’d be the Darren Fletcher, the legs.
“But there’s no Michael Carrick or Paul Scholes now. He’s playing with Pogba who doesn’t look interested half the time and is an inconsistent player even when he is interested. Even when he’s really on it, he’s never a consistent, dominant threat throughout the game. That’s not how he plays. That’s not his style.
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“United’s number six options are: Fred, who looks devoid of confidence; Matic, who is just a walking disaster – and that’s it.
“Really they need two midfielders. They need a defensive midfielder, and I still maintain Ivan Rakitic is the man for them, because he’s experienced while nobody else at United is. He’s a veteran, he’s a winner.
“His problem at Barcelona is that they play passing, 3D football and he doesn’t really always have his head on a swivel.
“But what he’s great at is procuring the defence and playing very impressive long, straight passes to cut open defences and find wingers and fast players – United have loads of those but nobody to play the passes.
“Barcelona tried to sell him this summer. Valverde’s not using him. I don’t think he’d cost more than £40m. He’s a serial winner, 31 years old, very experienced.”
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