United aim to seal swap deal for Barca star

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 1 8,158

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United have their sights on Ivan Rakitic. FCBarcelona

United aim to seal swap deal for Barca star

Matt Morley by Matt Morley @rfutbol - 1 8,158

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is hoping to tempt Spanish giants Barcelona into parting with one of their top stars by offering an enticing swap deal.

Spanish publication 'Diario Gol' reports that United are keen on Barcelona's Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic and are willing to offer French international Anthony Martial in exchange for the former Sevilla man.

Martial has made just four starts in all competitions so far this season but has impressed, scoring five goals and clocking up six assists despite his limited game time.

The aformentioned source reports that Mourinho is a huge fan of Rakitic and is willing to accept a loss on Martial, who was signed from Monaco for a fee that could rise to £58m back in 2015, to get his hands on the 29-year-old.

With Barcelona still keen on Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho, but with the club suggesting that they may need to sell before they can buy, this unlikely deal may have some legs.

Martial would offer another versatile option to the Barca frontline, someone capable of playing off the left or though the middle in the absence of Luis Suarez, allowing the club to move on the likes of Paco Alcacer and Arda Turan without leaving themselves short.

It is difficult to see where Rakitic fits into United's plans though, unless they can move players on. Whilst there is no doubting that the Croat is a supremely talented footballer, United already have: Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini in their midfield ranks. 

Despite having fallen behind Marcus Rashford in the Old Trafford pecking order, there are still plenty of United fans that would be sad to see Martial, who is still just 21, leave the club.

Matt Morley

Matt Morley

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