Barcelona Transfer News: Blaugrana looking to sign Rakitic replacement
What's the news?
Barcelona are reportedly looking to sign a replacement for their aging midfielder Ivan Rakitic. The Croatian has found minutes hard to come by this season with the arrival of Frenkie de Jong, coupled with the fact that injuries have reduced his availability and effectiveness.
In case you didn't know...
Rakitic arrived at the Camp Nou from Sevilla in 2014. The midfielder had an instant impact on the team as Luis Enrique led Barcelona to their second treble.
Rakitic had been an ever-present figure in the Blaugrana midfield since his arrival, until this season. The Croat finds himself below De Jong, Arthur Melo, Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal in the pecking order.
Rakitic has made 10 appearances this season but is struggling to get a start, and his importance to the team has clearly dwindled.
The heart of the matter
According to Spanish daily AS Diario, Barcelona are keen to find a replacement for the 31-year-old Rakitic. The Blaugrana have reportedly short-listed Napoli's Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz, Juventus midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur and Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez for the position.
Barcelona will likely face competition from arch-rivals Real Madrid for the signature of Fabian, with Los Blancos looking to replace their aging midfield too. Saul meanwhile is likely to draw a big transfer fee as Atletico Madrid would not be willing to sell cheaply to their LaLiga rivals.
Bentancur on the other hand sounds like a more feasible option, with the Uruguayan struggling for starts at Juventus since the arrival of Maurizio Sarri. Rakitic had also been a reported target for Juventus in the summer, and Barcelona could add the Croat in any possible deal for the 22-year-old Bentancur.
There are just 20 months remaining in Rakitic's contract, which is why Barcelona will try to off-load him as soon as possible. An early sale would help them gain the required funds for his possible replacement.