£33m Manchester United, Liverpool target 'has verbal agreement' with Atletico as Real step in

Ivan Rakitic

The future of Ivan Rakitic looks increasingly complex.

Liverpool and Manchester United have been regularly linked with a move for Sevilla sensation Ivan Rakitic, who has 11 goals and 12 assists this campaign.

The central midfielder had even been linked with Liverpool as part of a swap deal with Suso, while Manchester United's need for a player of his calibre in his position is well documented.

The signs have been however, throughout the calendar year so far, that Rakitic is setting his sights on a stay in Spain, despite interest also emerging from PSG.

He has just one year remaining on his current contract, with a £33 million release clause in his present deal, and was claimed last week to be keen to stay in Seville and sign a new deal with his club.

Yet now it is getting rather complicated, as the two title-competing Madrid giants battle for his signature.

Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo yesterday claimed that Real Madrid have stepped up their pursuit of the midfielder who condemned them to defeat a week ago, courtesy of a stunning assist in Sevilla's 2-1 victory.

Their report has added intrigue however, with it suggested that Rakitic has agreed to move to Atletico instead at the end of the current campaign.

"Ivan had already reached a verbal agreement with Atletico Madrid."

They maintain Real's interest though threatens to hijack this, such is their intent to partner him with Croatian international teammate Luka Modric.

Barcelona manager Tata Martino had also expressed his admiration for the player amid themselves being linked, but they will be now considered out of the race, thanks to the transfer ban imposed upon them by FIFA.

This one looks far from over yet, despite the claimed agreement, but what does appear probable, is that the Premier League sides linked with his signature are out of the race at present, and Rakitic will be playing La Liga football next season, whether it be with Sevilla, Atletico or Real, is another matter. 


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