Juventus are still keen on signing midfielder Ivan Rakitic from Barcelona before next Monday’s transfer deadline, according to Spanish outlet Sport via Sports Mole.
The Croatia international’s future in Catalonia looks uncertain after the arrival of 21-year-old Frenkie de Jong from Ajax.
The Dutchman has partnered Sergio Busquets in the heart of Barca’s midfield for the La Liga champions’ opening two fixtures, with Rakitic limited to just 44 minutes from the substitutes bench during the club’s opening day defeat to Athletic Bilbao.
It is understood, per the aforementioned report, that Rakitic would prefer to remain in Spain and fight for his place in Ernesto Valverde’s starting line-up, however Juve are remaining persistent in their quest to acquire the 31-year-old’s signature. Sport report that Juventus and Barcelona met on the 19th August to discuss a potential swap deal for Rakitic and Emre Can, though Barca rejected this as they are trying to trim down the amount of midfielders they have in their current squad.
This has left a potential season-long loan offer on the cards for Rakitic, which could be explored by Barcelona if the Croatian is not going to be used as a makeweight for the signing of Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain this week.
Ultimately, Rakitic may have the final say on whether or not he moves to Italy. As mentioned, the ex-Sevilla man does want to fight for his place at the Nou Camp, but has been left on the sidelines for the club’s opening two matches, which tells its own story.
Quite why the Blaugrana are seemingly open to selling the man who made the most passes per game last season remains to be seen though the arrival of De Jong and money required for a potential deal for Neymar could be two explanations. Judging off his stats last season, the World Cup runner-up remains a major force in the team, though at his age, could be disposable considering De Jong’s presence and the potential money involved.
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