Atletico 'to sign' €33m Rakitic as replacement for Chelsea target - Not Costa

Ivan Rakitic

Manchester United will miss out on Ivan Rakitic, but will Chelsea sign a player he is replacing?

Atletico Madrid are closing in on the coveted signature of Ivan Rakitic, reports in Spain widely claim.

The Sevilla star had been linked with United, PSG, Real and Barcelona but it is Atletico who are in pole position to seal a deal for the Croatian.

Radio reports in Spain claim that Real have given up the chase, so convinced they are that Rakitic has already got an agreement in place with Atletico.

Europa League winner Rakitic scored 13 goals and provided 12 assists last season, and is viewed as a complete central midfield player.

The money involved for regarding his signing for Atletico suggest clearly he will be a starter next season, but who will he replace?

The most likely candidate is not Koke or Arda Turan - both linked with Manchester United, but Tiago Mendes, who it was claimed this week will not renew his deal.

Koke has made 22 of his La Liga starts out on the left and only five in the centre this season, while Turan has not played centrally at all.

Tiago has been a regular for Atletico this season in central midfield, making 28 starts in the position.

This week it was claimed Tiago has told Atletico he will not renew his deal, and intends to rejoin Chelsea and Jose Mourinho where he played in 2005/06.

It's possible this news has sped along Atletico's chase of Rakitic, but with Tiago scoring just twice and making the one assist, it's looking like the La Liga champions are to get a big upgrade in terms of attacking potential in the position.

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