Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic is reportedly a target for Serie A duo Juventus and Inter Milan ahead of the January transfer window.
According to a report by Caught Offside, who have carried out claims by Spanish publication Sport, Ivan Rakitic could be bracing himself for a departure from Camp Nou in the January transfer window. Serie A power duo Juventus and Inter Milan are keen on signing the Barcelona midfielder.
Rakitic joined Barcelona from Sevilla in the summer of 2014 and has gone on to become one of the best midfielders in the world in the half-a-decade he has been at Camp Nou. For each of the last five seasons, the Croat had been a mainstay in the middle of the park for the Blaugrana, with both Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde viewing him as a key component of the first-team.
But, the arrival of Arthur and Frenkie de Jong over the last two summer windows has resulted in Rakitic dropping down the pecking order, with the player now effectively the fifth-choice midfielder for Barcelona. As a result, the 31-year-old has seen his future being shrouded in uncertainty, with Barcelona even being open to selling him this past summer.
Several clubs had been linked with the Barcelona midfielder in the previous window, and a switch to Italian football had even looked likely. But, neither Juventus nor Inter Milan, the two most heavily linked suitors, were able to secure his services. Ahead of the onset of the January window, however, the duo seem to have reignited their interest in Rakitic.
But, the continued interest from Juventus comes as a bit of a surprise, seeing as they bolstered their midfield by signing Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey in the summer. But, a closer look would suggest that they could perhaps, do with an addition.
Blaise Matuidi seems to be going strong despite being on the wrong side of 30. But, Emre Can is out of favour with Maurizio Sarri and Sami Khedira, in spite of an early season resurgence, is in the twilight of his career. As a result, Rakitic, could be a viable short-term target for Juventus, who had, in fact, attempted to sign him in the summer.
As for Inter Milan, they too, seem to be well stocked in the midfield department, with summer arrivals Nicolo Barella and Stefano Sensi settling quickly at San Siro. But, a player like Rakitic could provide the kind of leadership and quality that the Nerazzurri would need for their push for the Serie A title in the second half of the season.
The Barcelona midfielder could, in theory, also aid their campaign in the UEFA Champions League, thereby making him a potentially sensible target. But, it remains to be seen if either Rakitic or Barcelona are open to agreeing to a January move, with Sport (h/t Caught Offside) not providing any indication towards the same.
For now, all that remains clear is that Rakitic has started being phased out of the Barcelona first-team setup and that a departure could help his career in a positive way. With Juventus and Inter Milan tailing him, it will be interesting to see if a January move sees the light of the day.