Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic is keen on a move to Liverpool, it has been revealed.
With Barca locked in talks with Liverpool over a deal for Philippe Coutinho, Don Balon says Rakitic would be willing to move in the opposite direction as part of a swap.
So far in negotiations, Barca have attemped to drive downLiverpool’s asking price by offering André Gomes, Rafinha and Arda Turanas part of the deal. But the Reds are not interested.
Concerned that Coutinho’s arrival would diminish his playing chances, Rakitic would be willing to include himself in talks with Liverpool- unless he is offered assurances by coach Ernesto Valverde.
The 29-year-old has been a key figure for Barca since joining in 2014, helping the Blaugrana win a treble in his first season. At his best, Rakitic is a classy box-to-box runner who enables quick transitions between defence and attack.
Yet like most of Barca’s midfield, Rakitic has struggled somewhat last season. He has managed a mere eight goals and just a seven assist in all competitions, according to Transfermarkt.
Rakitic is not a bad player technically, but he does not have Barcelona DNA. Denis Suarez, however, does, while Gomes is also slick on the ball.
Barcelona had been accused of losing their style, being unable to keep possession, and were starting to be dominated by their opponents, rather than the other way around.
The €64m-rated Croatia international has also been linked with Manchester City this week, where manager Pep Guardiola is a big fan.