Arsenal and Liverpool are reportedly both looking to complete a January deal to bring Barcelona superstar Ivan Rakitic to England.
According to Spanish publication Diario Gol, Barcelona’s capture of Philippe Coutinho could pave the way for another transfer, with Ivan Rakitic looking to leave the club after competition for his place has increased. And, the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool are looking to take advantage of the situation by attempting to land the Croat in January.
Ivan Rakitic arrived in Barcelona from Sevilla in the summer of 2014 as his manager from Sevilla Luis Enrique brought him along to the Nou Camp. The debut campaign was highly successful, with Barcelona winning the treble. The 2015-16 campaign saw them win the double. And Rakitic was a constant presence in the lineup in both the campaigns.
However, after a mediocre 2016-17 campaign, we saw Luis Enrique depart the club and Ernesto Valverde’s arrival has seen a rather subdued campaign so far for Rakitic as Barcelona continue to scale new heights under the new manager, despite the sale of Neymar.
While the 29-year-old has been involved in every La Liga match for Barcelona this season so far, his return of 3 assists leaves a lot to be desired. The midfield is already full with contenders for Rakitic’s position – Denis Suarez, Paulinho, Andre Gomes and Sergi Roberto, to an extent. Coutinho’s arrival is set to complicate matters further.
Arsenal and Liverpool are interested in Barcelona and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitić, who wants to leave following the arrival of Philippe Coutinho. (Source: Diariogol) pic.twitter.com/FXv3wOe63K
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) January 9, 2018
Hence, Rakitic could be looking to secure a move away from Barcelona, which is where the interested parties – Arsenal and Liverpool – step in. Liverpool have recently received a Premier League record windfall from the sale of Coutinho, who joined Barcelona.
The Reds were looking to bring Naby Keita’s joining date forward to January. But, with RB Leipzig unlikely to part with Keita in January, Liverpool could instead pursue Rakitic, who would be more than a viable addition. The Croat has immense experience and a winning mentality that could prove to be oh-so useful at Anfield.
For Arsenal, the need for a midfielder has been present since the summer. The pivot is crying out for a midfielder who could be a quarterback, of sorts. And Rakitic, with his creativity and vision could prove to be just the player Arsenal need to rejuvenate their flailing campaign.
Arsenal’s playing style is similar to Barcelona, which could see Rakitic settle in quickly within the system at Emirates.
The only stumbling block might prove to be Rakitic’s preference to wait till the summer before looking for a move. The Barcelona superstar is of the opinion that he would only seek a move if his chances become limited from now till the end of the season.
Also, come summer, a good performance from Rakitic and Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup could increase the interest in him.
A move now would also see Rakitic surrender his chances to add another league title to his cabinet, which looks all the more likelier to be heading Barcelona’s way, while Arsenal and Liverpool both already seem to be fighting for the top 4 in Premier League.