Reports: Chelsea eyeing a shock move for FC Barcelona superstar
What's the story?
Following Cesc Fabregas' departure to AS Monaco, the Blues have been linked with Leandro Paredes and Nicolo Barella recently, although neither of them are expected to make a January switch, with the transfer window shutting down on Thursday.
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The Croatian has been a pivotal part of FC Barcelona's squad since arriving from Sevilla in 2014, for a fee of around €16 million, just peanuts when compared to his current market value and the qualities he possesses.
The 30-year-old, alongside Luka Modric (his rival at club level), inspired Croatia to their maiden World Cup final, running the midfield and creating Croatia's attacks via their unmatchable abilities.
The midfield veteran has scored 3 goals and set up another 6 in the 30 appearances he has made for the Catalans this season so far. Known for his exceptional passing, and ability to create space his teammates, the Croatian would be an asset for Maurizio Sarri's midfield.
The heart of the matter
The former Sevilla man has a contract with La Blaugrana until the summer of 2021. However, with the arrival of Ajax prodigy, Frankie de Jong, the Croatian might go down the pecking order.
On the other hand, Sarri is known to be a great admirer of the Barcelona star, and is willing to lure him to Stamford Bridge in the summer, further strengthening his squad depth.
Following the departure of Cesc Fabregas, the Blues are in pursuit of a top-notch playmaker. With the possibility of Rakitic parting ways with Barca, Sarri must do everything it takes to lure the Croatian.
Rumour rating: 6/10
Frenkie de Jong would be officially joining the Catalans next summer. It is certain that Rakitic would have to fight for his place in Valverde's line-up when the Dutchman arrives.
With Maurizio Sarri in charge at Stamford Bridge, a move to Camp Nou would be beneficial for all the parties involved. It remains to be seen whether the Blues will get their hands on the Croatian this summer.
Ernesto Valverde's men are fighting for the LaLiga title, sitting 5 points clear on top. With the latter stages and crucial matches of the season approaching, a player of Rakitic's stature would be important for Barcelona's midfield.
On the other hand, the Blues are fighting for a top-four spot in the Premier League. With Fabregas' departure to Monaco, there's no one to cover for Jorginho, which might be a problem for the Italian tactician.