Barcelona will accept just £9 million for Ivan Rakitic with Arsenal interested in bringing the Champions League-winning midfielder to the Emirates, according to La Razon.
While one Croatian play-maker is celebrating a La Liga title in the white of Real Madrid 18 months after claiming the Ballon D’Or, Luka Modric’s international teammate has had a, well, different year.
Not only have Barcelona lurched from crisis to catastrophe off the pitch, their performances on it have been more reminiscent of the directionless Tata Martino era than the dominant Pep Guardiola one.
Rakitic, in the eyes of many, has overstayed his welcome at the heart of the Catalan engine room, becoming something of a whipping boy for dissatisfied fans and Twitter trolls everywhere.
Barca coach Quique Setien appears to agree, with the 32-year-old struggling to secure a regular starting berth since the former Las Palmas boss replaced Ernesto Valverde, one of Rakitic’s biggest fans, back in the spring.
The 2018 World Cup finalist has made it clear on multiple occasions that he wants to stay and see out his contract.
But everyone knows that Barcelona have put pretty much every member of their first team squad, well all those not called Leo, Frenkie or Marc-Andre, up for sale.
A financial crisis is holding the Catalan Kings in a vice-like grip, after all, making Neymar’s long-awaited return or a bid for Lautaro Martinez impossible.
La Razon reports that Rakitic has seen his price-tag drop from £18 million to £9 million.
Even a cash-strapped Arsenal could afford the 2015 Champions League winner now, with Sport claiming that Mikel Arteta is hoping to add a four-time La Liga winner to a squad lacking players with a track-record when it comes to winning.
“Rakitic is incredible, both mentally and physically,” Carlo Ancelotti, a coach who knows a thing or two about success, told Sport. “His contribution to Barcelona is essential. (Toni) Kroos is vital but hasn’t reached Rakitic’s level.”