Barcelona to sell Ivan Rakitic, keep Arturo Vidal

Barcelona have no intention of selling Arturo Vidal but will part company with Ivan Rakitic in January for €25m, report ESPN FC.

The Croatia international has been an integral part of the club’s midfielder for five years but has featured only sparingly this season and whilst no transfer away has been finalised, it is now said to be a formality.

Rakitic has been linked with a move away from Ernesto Valverde's side in recent months, after the club stalled on offering him a contract extension this summer, when there was interest – which has now dissipated – from Paris Saint-Germain.

A recent report in Diario Sport claimed his days at the Camp Nou are numbered and while Italian side Inter are favourites to land him, Manchester United have also made direct contract for his signature.

The fresh report now coincides with that in Marca earlier this week that a deal is set to be formalised in January.

Last week, El Mundo Deportivo have cited a report in Italian-based Tuttosport that the Nerazzurri are in pole position to land the Croatian as early in January.

However, Inter have suffered a blow in their chase for Rakitic’s Blaugrana teammate Vidal, who the Spanish champions have no plan to sell.

A report in Gazzetta dello Sport reiterates Inter boss Conte has highlighted the central midfield area for strengthening this coming window.

The Chilean midfielder has started just one match this season for the Blaugrana and played little over 200 minutes across the entirety of the campaign to date.

Vidal is said to be unhappy at his playing time at Barcelona and could be open to a January move to Conte’s side.

“Interest from Inter? I lived very nice moments with Antonio Conte,” Vidal admitted in an interview with Chilean outlet El Mercurio, as cited by Marca.

“The quality leap I enjoyed was thanks to him. In football the most important thing is trust and when a Coach of that prestige gives it to you, then you improve a lot.”

Last week, Calciomercato cited Gazzetta dello Sport as reporting that the central midfielder could now join the Milanese club this January, along with Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic.

In August, a report in FcInterNews claimed that the Nerazzurri had received positive signals from the Catalan giants over the summer months over a possible move and that Vidal himself is open to the move.

The Chilean looked set for Inter last summer until the Blaugrana swooped in late to sign him from Bayern Munich.

Vidal, has previously consistently reiterated his desire to stay at the Camp Nou – where he played an important role in winning the title last season.

However, the arrival of Dutch international Frenkie De Jong at the club has pushed him further down the pecking order in Ernesto Valverde's side, and Inter boss Antonio Conte is waiting to make an offer should he look to move on from Catalonia.

With two years still to run on his contract, Vidal will not be a cheap option, and the Blaugrana are likely to demand in the region of €25m for the 32-year old, if Conte wants to be reunited with the player he won three league titles with at Juventus.

“I would follow him everywhere, even in war,” he was once quoted as saying about the Coach.

Tags Arturo Vidal Ivan Rakitic