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Man Utd transfer boost with Ivan Rakitic free to leave Barcelona for just £17.6m this summer

MANCHESTER UNITED target Ivan Rakitic will be free to leave Barcelona for £17.6million this summer, according to reports.

The Croatian's importance to Barcelona has been on the wane in the last couple of seasons, having previously been a key man.

The 32-year-old's contract expires in June 2021, and Barca chiefs are hoping to recoup the majority of the £17m they paid for him in 2014 when he arrived from Sevilla.

The coronavirus pandemic has added uncertainty to the summer's transfer window.

But Marca claim that Rakitic is expected to leave regardless.

He is believed to have suitors in Spain, England, Italy and France - with the Red Devils among them.

The midfielder will depart with his head held high, however, having made 299 appearances for the Blaugrana - winning 13 trophies.

His Barca highlight was undoubtedly winning the Champions League in 2015 - in which he scored in the final.

It's expected to be a busy summer at the Camp Nou, with Barcelona expected to try and press ahead with expensive deals for Neymar and Lautaro Martinez.

Despite the financial uncertainty in football because of Covid-19, Barca are bullish over their summer spending power - insisting that they will still be able to operate as planned.

Lionel Messi confirmed earlier this week that first-team stars at the Camp Nou will take a temporary 70 per cent pay cut during the crisis - as well as helping to pay the full salaries of non-playing staff at the club.

But while this has eased the financial strain, there are still expected to be a number of high-profile exits.

As well as Rakitic, fellow midfielder Arturo Vidal could depart, in order to free up a non-EU slot in the club's LaLiga squad list.

And the pair could be joined by forwards Antoine Griezmann and Martin Braithwaite.

Griezmann only arrived last summer after a protracted transfer tangle with Atletico Madrid, but having scored just eight league goals - the £105million Frenchman could be sacrificed already.

Braithwaite, on the other hand, was always brought in as a temporary measure, following the long-term injuries suffered by Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez.

Manchester United, meanwhile, are reportedly keeping tabs on a number of players  in addition to Rakitic - including Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham and Thomas Meunier.

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