Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic is reportedly a transfer target for rivals Atletico Madrid, who are prepared to offer £35 million for his services.
As per a report from the Daily Mail, which cites its source as Movistar+, Atletico Madrid are prepared to offer a way out for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who has struggled for game time this season. The Rojiblancos are reportedly ready to pay the Catalans £35 million to secure the signing of the Croatian international.
Rakitic has been with Barcelona since 2014 and has gone on to establish himself as one of the best midfielders in Europe during his time at Camp Nou. However, the seasoned campaigner has found it hard to get into Ernesto Valverde’s starting lineup in the 2019-20 campaign.
The Barcelona manager has preferred new signing Frenkie de Jong and Arthur Melo in the middle of the park along with the ever-present figure of Sergio Busquets, while Arturo Vidal also seems to be ahead of Rakitic in the pecking order. The 31-year-old has started just one game across all competitions this term.
Rakitic had been linked with an exit from Barcelona throughout the summer transfer window, but the Croat had insisted he would be staying put and fighting for his place in the team. However, the lack of game time has frustrated the former Sevilla man, who is now believed to be open to a transfer away from Camp Nou.
The 31-year-old is contracted with Barcelona till the summer of 2021, but the La Liga champions are aware of the fact that his valuation would drop steeply once he enters the final year of his contract and as a result are actively looking to offload him in the January transfer window.
There has been strong interest in securing his services from Serie A duo Inter Milan and Juventus, while Premier League heavyweights Manchester United have also been linked with a move for the 31-year-old. And, as per the latest report, Atletico Madrid, too, have entered the race to try and sign the Barcelona star in the winter window.
Diego Simeone’s side have a well-stacked midfield department with the likes of Thomas Partey, Koke, Saul Niguez, along with summer signings Marcos Llorente and Hector Herrera.
However, adding someone of Rakitic’s quality and experience to the ranks would be quite a boost for Atleti as they look to push Barcelona and Real Madrid for the La Liga title. To that end, they are prepared to offer a transfer fee of £35 million for the Croatian superstar in the January transfer window.
With Rakitic openly voicing his frustrations over the lack of involvement and Valverde’s reluctance to offer him more game time, it seems highly likely that a transfer in the upcoming window will go through. However, it remains to be seen if Atletico will be the 31-year-old’s next destination or if he ends up in Italy or England.