Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic is a hot property in this transfer window and it seems that Atletico have taken a lead over their city rivals Real Madrid for his signature.

Spanish daily Marca has claimed today that the midfielder is in favor of a move to Atletico and not Real Madrid. Marca reports that: “While Sevilla await answers from his brother and agent, Ivan Rakitic seems to have his mind set on a move to Madrid. And not Real Madrid, as was first expected. It seems that the Croat has some sort of deal arranged with the Champions League runners-up and league champions, Atlético de Madrid.”

Apart from both Real and Atletico, many other clubs like Liverpool and PSG are also interested in the player but the report of Marca have anything to go by; the player has already made up his mind.

Atletico enjoyed best season of their history as they won La Liga and were runner-up in the Champions League. And as a result of such wonderful campaign, many of their stars are targets of other European clubs and hence, Rakitic is eyed as a replacement of outgoing players.

According to Marca, “Real have decided to give up the fight for the player, as they feel that the agreement between Rakitic and Atlético is best left alone. Another reason that Florentino and co. have decided to call it a day is that at present they cannot see a starting position for the Sevilla captain and feel that it is more important to reinforce other areas on the field.”

Real Madrid were reported to be interested in Rakitic as the future of Angel Di Maria was not certain until yesterday. However, the Argentine is most likely to remain at Santiago Bernabeau for at least one year.

Atletico meanwhile, do not enjoy such luxury. Their star midfielder Koke has been targeted by the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea. If any big offer comes, the Spaniad is almost secrtain to leave. Midfielder Tiago has already signed for Chelsea while Diego Costa is also likely to join the former at Stamford Bridge. The likes of Felipe Luis and Miranda are also the transfer targets of bigger clubs like Barcelona and Manchester United.

Atletico are expecting a financial windfall after the sell of aforementioned players. They have also won good amount of prize money this year because of their on-field success and the club management is quite content to invest this money in a world class player. Ivan Rakitic certainly fulfills this criterion.

Rakitic, 26, has been a mainstay of this Sevilla side since his transfer in 2010. He has made over hundred appearances during this period and was the best player of their Europa League winning side.