Atletico Madrid move for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic

Atletico Madrid are willing to pay €40m to sign midfielder Ivan Rakitic from Barcelona in January, report Movistar+ in Spain.

A report in Marca last month claimed that had been a mutual agreement between the midfielder and the Catalan club for a January transfer.

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.

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.

Previous reports in the Spanish press say Barcelona boss Valverde – a long-term admirer of the Croatian midfielder – will no longer oppose the sale should the club decide to go down that path.

The Croatian international’s current deal at the Camp Nou runs through until the summer of 2021 although Barca signed midfielders Arturo Vidal and Arthur Melo last year and have landed Frenkie De Jong from Ajax this summer.

Carles Alena and Riqui Puig have also come through the club’s La Masia ranks to add further depth to the central midfield ranks, while Sergi Roberto can also be deployed there.

Despite this, the latest report say Napoli midfielder and Spain international Fabian Ruiz is on the Blaugrana’s shortlist to replace Rakitic, along with Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez and Rodrigo Bentancur of Juventus.

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