Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic has reportedly agreed to a summer move to Italian champions Juventus with Frenkie de Jong set to arrive at Camp Nou.
As per a report from Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, as carried by Spanish publication MARCA, Barcelona midfield mainstay and Croatian international Ivan Rakitic has agreed to join Serie A champions Juventus in the summer transfer window.
Rakitic has been with Barcelona since the summer of 2014, when he joined from fellow La Liga outfit Sevilla. The 31-year-old has grown into an integral part of the Catalans’ setup and has won three La Liga titles and a Champions League trophy as well, along with numerous other domestic honours.
In the ongoing campaign, Rakitic has continued to essay an important role in the middle of the park for Ernesto Valverde’s men as they push ahead towards another Spanish league crown. So far in the 2018-19 season, the midfielder has played 45 times in all competitions and has been involved in 14 goals (5 goals, 9 assists).
Despite his importance to the side, there is a good chance that Rakitic could see his involvement reduce in the coming season, as Barcelona have snapped up Ajax midfield sensation Frenkie de Jong. The Netherlands international will be joining the Catalans in the summer, after a deal was agreed in January.
With Sergio Busquets nailed down for the deep midfield slot and Arthur Melo emerging as a key creative outlet from the centre, de Jong is most likely to replace Rakitic in the starting lineup. And this has cast doubts over the future of the 31-year-old at Barcelona, with Chelsea and Manchester United reportedly making enquiries over his potential availability.
Now, according to latest reports from Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus too are interested in signing up Rakitic in the summer and have already made contact with the 31-year-old midfielder.
The Serie A heavyweights, who are hurtling towards their eighth successive Scudetto, have a number of quality options in the midfield department, with Miralem Pjanic, Emre Can, Blaise Matuidi, Sami Khedira and Rodrigo Bentancur. However, 32-year-old Khedira has spent most of the season on the treatment table and the Bianconeri could be looking to replace the German.
The report further goes on to add that Rakitic has told Juventus that he would consider a switch as he seeks regular playing time and an improved deal, which he is unlikely to get at Barcelona going forward from next season. Barcelona too are likely to be open to a sale as they look to generate funds to bankroll moves for Matthijs de Ligt and Antoine Griezmann.
Rakitic is contracted with Barcelona till the summer of 2021, having penned a new deal back in 2017. It remains to be seen if he decides to move on from Camp Nou at the end of the season.