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Rakitic garners interest ahead of potential transfer

Ivan Rakitic, during a fixture between Barcelona and Eibar in LaLiga / ALEX CAPARROS/GETTY IMAGES EUROPE
Ivan Rakitic, during a fixture between Barcelona and Eibar in LaLiga /  ALEX CAPARROS/GETTY IMAGES EUROPE
Ivan Rakitic, during a fixture between Barcelona and Eibar in LaLiga / ALEX CAPARROS/GETTY IMAGES EUROPE

Ivan Rakitic might be living his last days in Barcelona, as he continues to attract interest from several clubs around Europe ahead of a potential move.

Having joined Barcelona in 2014 from Sevilla, Ivan Rakitic’ spell in Catalonia has been a fruitful one. However, in recent years, partly due to him aging, his level has dropped below that he showed at Sevilla and that of his first Barcelona season, in which he was instrumental in the club’s treble under Luis Enrique’s tenure.

During Ernesto Valverde’s spell at the club, the Croatian midfielder’s role shifted from an advanced one further up the pitch, to a deeper role where his job was to help control the tempo of the games in which he featured.

This resulted in the midfielder being indispensable to the Txingurri, until this season began. Having previously praised Rakitic publicly and not hidden the fact that he saw the midfielder as a key player to his system, his tone shifted, and Rakitic’ future at the club was, as a result, endangered.

His amount of playing time on the pitch slowly reduced, which saw him look for a way out in January, alongside Arturo Vidal who, too, was not happy with his lack of time on the pitch. The introduction of Quiqué Setien saw the midfield pair stay at the club, with both playing a more instrumental role since the Cantabrian’s arrival in the winter. Barcelona’s midfield being plagued by injuries also paved the way to more playing time, although players like Riqui Puig, Philippe Coutinho and Carles Aleñá will be knocking in the door in the off-season, not to mention Pedri’s arrival from Las Palmas.

With Barcelona’s midfield for the upcoming season essentially being overbooked, Rakitic could look for a way out, and according to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, AC Milan are heavily interested.

Having made a pursuit for the player multiple times, with the most noteworthy attempt being in 2018, the red side of Milan, who recently brought Zlatan Ibrahimovic back to its ranks, will look to add Ivan Rakitic to a team that already is a good mixture of talent and experience.

Given the Rossoneri‘s failed attempt at securing Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, they have set their eyes on Ivan Rakitic once again. In fact, in a recent interview with Italian news outlet, CalcioMercato.com, AC Milan’s former sporting director, Massimiliano Mirabelli admitted to being close to securing Rakitic’ signature on the dotted line, back in 2018.

“When I worked for Milan, I went to Barcelona to try and sign Ivan Rakitic. He was negotiating a new contract with Barça. and I was hoping he would listen to other offers for his future,” he told CalcioMercato.com.

“We got to his place, and from the garage a lift took us up to his house. He was excited. He told me that if he did not renew with Barcelona, he would seriously have considered our offer,” Mirabelli continued.

Moreover, recently, AC Milan’s CEO Ivan Gazidis admitted that ‘it is possible to invest in more experienced players, like we did with Higuaín’, despite the Rossoneri’s preference to playing their in-house talents.

Having made that attempt to sign him, Milan gave it another go in the two latest transfer windows, both in the summer of 2019, and in the winter of the new year. Both attempts were unsuccessful, as the player ultimately chose to stay despite interest from several clubs. This time, the Croatian’s entourage is certain that an offer from Milan will arrive, in anticipation of several offers from clubs around Europe, reports Mundo Deportivo. Per the same report, Inter will be Milan’s main competitors in the pursuit of Rakitic’ signature, with Madrid-based side Atlético also interested.

Rakitic’ ideal move from Barcelona would be back to Sevilla, something he has hinted at in the past. However, the Andalusian club have, per the same report, deemed a move for Rakitic unfeasible due to his high salary, despite Barcelona liking the idea of the Croatian moving on.

Rakitic’ contract runs until 2021, with the latest renewal having taken place in 2017, three years after the Catalan side signed him from Sevilla.

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