Chelsea preparing move for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic
Chelsea are preparing a summer move for Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic as they look to finally fill the void left by Cesc Fabregas, according to reports in Spain. Maurizio Sarri has made little secret of his desire to bring in a new midfielder to provide cover and competition for Jorginho, describing the Italian as being ‘in trouble’ against Newcastle recently.
However, the club were unsuccessful in their attempts to sign both Cagliari’s Nicolo Barella and Zenit midfielder Leandro Paredes, with the latter expected to join PSG.
And now it appears Sarri will have to do without the midfielder he craves until the summer, when Catalan newspaper Sport report that Chelsea will try to tempt Rakitic to London.
The Croatian is expected to fall down the pecking order when Frenkie de Jong arrives from Ajax and would be happy to get him off the wage bill if a suitable offer arrives.
However, in a blow to Chelsea’s hopes, the 30-year-old says he is prepared to fight for his place at Camp Nou. ‘If I am here [at Barcelona], it’s to play,’ said Rakitic at the Mundo Deportivo gala on Monday night. ‘If anything has to change, we will speak. I have a lot of confidence. I know what I can give. I know who I am.
‘I want to be here and, if I can renew, to be here for even more years. I am really happy here, everyone knows it, above all the ‘Presi’ [president]. I have nothing else to say.’
Asked directly if De Jong’s arrival could force him out, Rakitic added: ‘That’s a good question for the ‘Mister’ [manager] or the ‘Presi.’ I am 30 and I am in the best moment of my career. I want to enjoy football and enjoy Barca.’