Barcelona transfer roundup: Surprise managerial candidate, Real Madrid beat Barca to sign prodigy and more
Enrique confirms offers for Rakitic
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has praised midfielder Ivan Rakitic for his decision to extend his contract. According to Marca, Rakitic has officially penned down a new contract which will keep the midfielder at the club until 2021. However, Enrique did confirm that the player had several offers from Premier League suitors to lure him away in January or later in the summer.
Commenting on Rakitic’s new deal, Enrique said: "It is good news, he is an important player staying at the club, that is always good. He had offers from other teams but in Ivan's case, we are very happy with his performances and with what he has achieved here. The way he is always looking to improve, it is very good news."
Barcelona defeated in Mancebo’s chase
Real Madrid have moved quickly to complete the signing of 20-year-old Adrian Mancebo from San Sabastian. The likes of Barcelona, Valencia, and Sevilla were all after Mancebo's signature, however, he will now join the reigning European Champions on a free transfer.
According to Marca, Real Madrid officials were adamant to not lose out on the local talent and signing Mancebo is a strong statement of intent. Mancebo discussed his potential move to the Santiago Bernabeu in an exclusive interview with Marca where he said, "The interest of Real Madrid flatters me.
"It makes me work even more, they are the best team in the world and will hopefully confirm the signing. I would love to play there, it would be a dream. My dream is to be playing at the [Estadio] Santiago Bernabeu, but I have my feet on the ground and I know I have to work hard to get there.”
Unzue the main candidate for Barcelona
Reports have emerged that Luis Enrique’s right-hand man Juan Carlos Unzue is being linked with the role of Barcelona head coach. The news has been confirmed by Marca, who also list Athletic Club's Ernesto Valverde and Sevilla's Jorge Sampaoli as potential replacements for the outgoing Spaniard.
However, Marca believes that Unzue’s inside information about the club could see him get the job. The Barcelona hierarchy want to appoint a man who understands the club and Unzue could get the job in a similar way to how Tito Vilanova managed to take charge of the club. Tito was made the head coach after Pep Guardiola decided to quit the club.
Barcelona leading Real Madrid in Dalot pursuit
Barcelona are leading Real Madrid in the race to sign FC Porto wonderkid Diogo Dalot and have reportedly submitted a €10 million bid for the 17-year-old. The teenage sensation has caught the attention of Madrid, Juventus and Manchester City, however, Barcelona want to get the deal done before the start of next season.
According to reports from O Jogo, Barcelona’s bid, however, is below the release clause inserted in his contract, which is rumoured to be €20 million. Porto have already knocked down the initial bid from the Catalan giants, which may force the club into meeting the release clause or risk losing out on the player.