Reds to add Croatian playmaker Ivan Rakitic as Brendan Rodgers eyes creativity from midfield.
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Liverpool are preparing a bid of £12million to land Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla this summer, CaughtOffside can reveal.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is keen to enter the transfer market for a creative midfielder this summer, and was believed to be targeting a return for former Liverpool favourite Xabi Alonso, now at Real Madrid.
However, despite it being thought that Alonso might be sold in a summer clear-out at the Bernabeu this year, he has pledged his future to the club and does not seem to be available.
With the signings of Joe Allen from Swansea and Nuri Sahin on loan from Real Madrid failing last summer, Rodgers is still keen to add a quality playmaker to his midfield, and has identified Rakitic as a player who could be the solution to his side’s problems.
The 25-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season in La Liga with Sevilla, scoring 8 goals and providing 10 assists from the middle of the park. Rakitic has 51 caps for the Croatian national team, and has previously impressed as a youngster during his time at Swiss side Basel and in the Bundesliga with Schalke, before moving to Spain in 2011.
Although Sevilla only finished 9th in La Liga, only world class players such as Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Mesut Ozil, Cesc Fabregas, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo managed more assists than Rakitic in the Spanish league this term.
He has found himself linked with Serie A side Lazio, who themselves might be in the market for a creative midfielder, with Manchester City said to be monitoring their star player Hernanes for a move this summer.
Liverpool have also been linked with Ajax star Christian Eriksen, though he has recently suggested that he would favour a move to Borussia Dortmund, where he would be able to play further up the field as a replacement for star player Mario Goetze, who has been confirmed as joining Bayern Munich next season.
And with Liverpool already having the likes of Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Jonjo Shelvey filling the roles behind the main striker, a more deep-lying player in the Alonso mould to play alongside Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva is more of a priority for Rodgers, making Rakitic a promising-looking candidate.
The Sevilla star has inevitably been compared with Real Madrid and former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric, his international team mate, and if he can have the same kind of impact as his compariot did in the Premier League, then he will prove a very good signing, especially at just £12million.
He may not be the only Sevilla player heading to England this summer, with Spanish winger Jesus Navas widely expected to join Manchester City.