Barcelona midfielder Rakitic wanted by Premier League duo

By: Snehanjan Banerjee
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic

Bengaluru, January 10: Barcelona and Croatia midfield superstar Ivan Rakitic could be on the way out of Camp Nou in the wake of the £145million purchase of Philippe Coutinho, according to reports.

The 29-year-old is one of a number of Barcelona stars who see their position at the club under threat following the La Liga leaders' big-money January signing.

Spanish media outlet Diario Gol have linked the 29-year-old Rakitic with Arsenal and Liverpool, as well as Juventus, who are all looking to move for the midfielder in the summer window.

Coutinho is over priced: Rakitic

Rakitic, with his immense quality and experience, would be a player any club would love to have and Barcelona are said to be braced for offers for the former Sevilla man.

Rakitic is known for his excellent range of passing and composure and is also gifted with a tremendous eye for goals.

It is said that Liverpool are leading the chase for the Croatian as they have a huge void to fill in midfield following the departure of Coutinho.

Arsenal, on the other hand, have plenty of options in midfield but Arsene Wenger is looking to make an overhaul in summer in the squad and Rakitic could be signed in order to get them the stability in the middle of the park.

Juventus are trying to sign Liverpool midfielder Emre Can on a free transfer in the summer but are also looking at other options including Rakitic.

Coutinho, who completed his move from Liverpool on Monday, could potentially play in Barcelona's midfield or up front – offering a threat to a range of players first-team prospects.

"I think he can bring a lot to the team," manager Ernesto Valverde said of Coutinho. "He scores and sets up goals, and going forward he can help us a lot as he can play both inside and out wide.

"He is versatile and we can take advantage of his versatility."

Quizzed on where the Brazil international would play regularly, he added: "We will wait until I have seen him train for a day at least until we talk about that."

Story first published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 11:22 [IST]
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