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FC Barcelona Set To Rival Real Madrid For Croatian Midfielder

Reports from Mundo Deportivo suggest that FC Barcelona have joined the race for Ivan Rakitic, who has been linked with a transfer to both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid

Michael Steele

Amidst all the media furore surrounding FC Barcelona’s continuing search for defensive reinforcements, the rumour mill has been ominously quiet with regards to the rest of Barcelona’s rumoured transfer dealings. Aside from the occasional report about the future of Cesc Fàbregas or Alexis Sánchez, there really hasn’t been much to report as newspapers and websites alike dedicate their front page to the latest twist in the Marquinhos saga.

However, if you dig deep enough, there are interesting rumours to be read – and today, Mundo Deportivo have trumped the rest with a real eye-catcher:

Ivan Rakitic to FC Barcelona.

Admittedly, the link isn’t as cut-and-dry as that, but at least it’s a link – that’s more than we’ve previously seen in relation to the dynamic Sevilla midfielder. Of course, Rakitic is currently stalling on contract talks as he hesitates about signing a new deal in Andalusia. With offers reportedly coming in from both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, Rakitic is believed to have options – really, it’s only today that Barcelona have even been mentioned in the same sentence. With just a single year left on his contract, Rakitic must be available and available below market value.

Given that Ivan Rakitic was almost certainly the best player outside of the top three this season, Barcelona’s interest should come as no surprise, even with an abundance of midfield talent in the Blaugrana ranks. After all, Rakitic represents a different dimension – he would add dynamism, physicality and versatility – key traits that this Barcelona midfield sorely lacked in the latter half of the season under Gerardo Martino.

Sadly, Mundo Deportivo are spot on in their assessment of Barça’s interest: it’s likely to be a non-starter, unless one of the current crop leave and at present, that seems unlikely. Even if it was, the prospect of giving up a player like Xavi or Fàbregas to accommodate this signing is virtually unthinkable – regardless of Rakitic’s quality.

And if Barcelona aren’t going to make a move, let’s just hope Ivan stays in Seville.

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