NEWS
Monday October 14 2019
Juventus rule out Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic

Juventus have ruled themselves out of the running to sign Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic in the January transfer window.

The Croatian international 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.

A report in  Diario Sport claims 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.

“Our squad is complete and we consider it to be one of the best in Europe,” Juve director Fabio Paratici replied to a question about the Barcelona midfielder, as cited by our sister site Football Italia.

“We’re happy with our players. I’d rule out the arrival of a full-back. With Mandzukic, we chose a quiet time for him [to leave] but a move to Qatar did not materialise so he stayed with us.

“Now we’ll see what happens in January.”

He has started just one of 10 matches for the Blaugrana to date this campaign and has played in just 21% of minutes, as the report outlines, and is available for bids in excess of €40m.

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.

It had been claimed by that outlet that the former Sevilla captain is the number one transfer target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United, who are desperately lacking strength in depth in their ranks.

However, it is now reported that Juve and Inter - the top two sides in Serie A at the moment - have also prioritised a deal for the experienced central midfielder.

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.

Football Italia website