Barcelona star Rakitic ‘agrees summer transfer to Juventus’ with De Jong set to take place
BARCELONA star Ivan Rakitic has agreed on a summer transfer to Juventus with Frenkie De Jong set to take his place, according to reports in Italy.
The Croatian World Cup runner-up has not been offered a new deal at the Nou Camp after the club signed Ajax’s midfield starlet as a long-term replacement.
Rakitic, whose current contract expires in 2021, made it clear last month that he wanted to stay in Spain amid reports he was closing in on a move to Inter Milan.
Although Barca would prefer to keep hold of him, Rakitic has had contact with Juve and prefers a move to Italy should he leave Spain, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
The 31-year-old has seen his first-team place in Ernesto Valverde’s side come under threat by the imminent arrival of £65million starlet de Jong.
His desire to play regular football and knowledge that the Catalan club will not offer him an improved contract has seen him consider options elsewhere.
Rakitic has been at the club since 2014 after joining from Sevilla and has since gone on to win three La Liga titles, four Copa del Reys and the 2015 Champions League.
However, Barcelona are reportedly looking to recoup his wages to help raise funds as they plot a move for Atletico Madrid ace Antoine Griezmann.
Rakitic was once a target for Manchester United but the Red Devils cooled their interest in the veteran after Paul Pogba’s transfer U-turn.
The 25-year-old French World Cup Winner has been in resurgent form since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over in December.
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He was ready to force a move away from United earlier in the season after falling out with the axed Jose Mourinho.
But the £89m club-record has held a series of private talks with Solskjaer over the last few weeks at Carrington and has assured him he wants to stay.
And that has led to The Standard reporting that United have ended their interest in Barca ace Rakitic, 31, as the Red Devils turn their focus on transfer targets elsewhere.