PSG enter race for Ivan Rakitic
[one_fourth last=”no”][/one_fourth]Sevilla playmaker Ivan Rakitić is quickly becoming the hottest property in European football and it has emerged that reigning Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain have entered the race for the player. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, PSG have contacted Los Rojiblancos to enquire about the Croatian international’s availability and the Spanish club have told the big spenders they expect at least £11m for their star man.
The 25-year-old has been in sensational form for Sevilla this season, scoring 7 goals and racking up 6 direct assists in 15 La Liga games. His creativity and an eye for goal has seen him linked with a whole host of clubs from all over Europe. Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool have all expressed a keen interest for the Swiss born player. Brendan Rodgers has in fact had the player scouted on numerous occasions, most recently in Sevilla’s 2-1 away win against Villareal.
The exciting central midfielder has also got admirers in Serie A, Napoli, Juventus and Lazio are all keeping a close eye on proceedings. Recent reports in Spanish newspaper AS claimed his recent performances had caught the eye of Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone and he is reportedly looking into the possibility of preparing a January transfer bid for Sevilla’s captain.
However, it is PSG who find themselves in pole position to sign the player. Manager Laurent Blanc has made it a priority to strengthen his midfield and he sees Rakitić as the ideal reinforcement. Blanc has also been linked with Belgian Radja Nainggolan of Cagliari and Newcastle United’s Yohan Cabaye but both these players have committed their short term futures to their respective clubs, making any January deal for those two players highly unlikely.
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Sevilla are struggling financially and they have been forced to sell their star players in order to keep the club running and in a viable state. Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas joined Manchester City in the summer and Chilean captain Guy Medel moved to Swansea City. There is a £33million release clause in Rakitić’s contract but with only a year and a half remaining on that contract, Sevilla are keen to sell now for around a third of that figure and avoid losing the player for free on a pre-contract agreement. PSG will move for Rakitić in January as they are looking for an immediate addition to their squad and any transfer fee would not pose a problem.
The set piece specialist has informed Sevilla he won’t extend his current contract and he recently told Spanish reporters: “A football player can never say with certainty that he will remain in his club. Such is the nature of our business. I’m in Seville for three years now and in this time many things have changed. It is clear that in such a big club people can not be satisfied with average results. If there is no success, if there are no trophies, frustration grows. Everything has changed.”
Rakitić began his career at Basel between 2005-2007 making 34 appearances and scoring 11 goals before spending four years at Schalke clocking up 97 games and scoring 12 goals. Rakitić represented Switzerland Under 21’s before pledging his international career to Croatia, he has 59 caps and 9 goals for his adopted country.