Spanish media reports that Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic is eyeing a move to Premier League next summer.
The reports suggest that former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is trying to bring the player to Etihad next summer. There have been rumours about Rakitic being unhappy at the Spanish club. Since the 1-1 draw in El Clasico in December, Rakitic hasn’t featured in a single game for Barcelona.
The 27-year-old attacking midfielder is being monitored by several clubs over Europe. Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List reports that Rakitic is very close to joining Man City. Both the player and Man City have agreed on terms and they will look to finalise a deal in the next transfer window. But there have been no further confirmations on this deal.
Back in 2014, Barcelona signed Rakitić on a five-year contract from Sevilla. Since then he has played over 120 games for the Catalans. Because of his quality in the midfield area, several big clubs in Europe have tried to sign him before joining Barcelona.
In his third season at the club, has found himself excluded from the squad on numerous occasions. It is understood that Luis Enrique prefers his £41.7 million summer signing Andre Gomes over Rakitic. The Barcelona midfielder was left out of the squad for Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Villarreal.
According to the news from Man City camp, Pep Guardiola is keen to bring Rakitic to Premier League in the next transfer window.
Due to a long-term injury for their midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, the Citizens have faced some serious issues in the recent weeks. Guardiola believes that he needs another key player who can boost their midfield. Both Pep Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain are convinced that this technically gifted player can be a crucial player for City in the coming years.
Rakitic currently has a contract with Barcelona till 2019 and also has a buy-out set at 100 million euros. At the start of this season, there were rumours that the player is negotiating a new deal with Spanish champions. But lately, the news suggests that Barcelona is not in a hurry to offer Rakitic a new contract.
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In November, Rakitic featured in a Champions League group stage match between Barcelona and Man City. Before that match, Rakitic even told that he would like to play under Pep Guardiola in future.
“I took the No. 4 shirt because of Pep,” Rakitic said. “It was a great opportunity and I took it with both hands. He was one of the best in the world.”
“My teammates have told me a lot about him, what he was like. I hope he’s happy and successful in the future, but not [against Barcelona].”
“It would be fantastic to work with him one day and if not I’ll invite him for a coffee.”