Liverpool’s hopes of recruiting highly-rated Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic have been dented by the news that the player could be about to agree a new contract with current club Sevilla.
The 26-year-old has been the subject of much interest from the Premier League, with Chelsea also thought to be keen on recruiting the midfielder this summer, as they look to improve on a third place finish in the English top-flight this term.
However they may be forced to pay over the odds for the former Schalke man, amid reports that he is all set to sign a new contract with his current La Liga employers.
While not necessarily meaning the midfielder will remain with the Europa League winners next term, the agreement is likely to increase the price tag on the player’s head – something that could well go up further should he prove to be a hit in Brazil.
Rakitic is likely to favour a move to one of either Liverpool or Chelsea though, with the transfer allowing him to not only experience the Premier League but also compete in the Champions League.
Sevilla lost out to Athletic Bilbao in the race for fourth in La Liga and though set to defend their newly-won continental crown, may well be expecting the likes of Rakitic to depart.
Chelsea’s interest in the player is admittedly surprising, given the number of midfielders currently on the books at Stamford Bridge, but having previously pursued compatriot Luka Modric, they could be keen to bring the Croat to the club.
For Liverpool, meanwhile, players of Rakitic’s quality are a must, following a season in which a thin squad narrowly missed out on Premier League glory under Brendan Rodgers.
And with Champions League football coming back to Anfield from next term, we could be set for a summer of big transfers on Merseyside.