Inter have reportedly made Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic their Plan B option to Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic ahead of the deadline.
The 31-year-old has been a pivotal figure for the Catalan giants since joining them in 2014, making over 50 appearances in each of the five seasons that he has spent at the Nou Camp.
In turn, given he also played a crucial role for coach Ernesto Valverde last year, it seems like a strange decision to axe him now ahead of the new La Liga campaign.
However, as reported by Calciomercato, it’s suggested that Barcelona may well have the option of selling in the next two weeks as Inter have identified the Croatian international as their alternative target to Milinkovic-Savic.
Whether or not another midfielder is even needed by the Nerazzurri is up for debate given the signings of Nicolo Barella and Stefano Sensi already this summer, but Antonio Conte is evidently keen to stamp his mark on the squad and will continue to strengthen where possible.
From a Barcelona perspective though, Valverde will still have plenty of quality and depth with new arrival Frenkie de Jong also now pushing for a starting berth alongside the likes of Sergio Busquets, Arthur and Arturo Vidal.
However, given the experience and quality that Rakitic possesses, it would surely be a questionable decision to let him leave at this late stage of the summer if Inter do indeed switch their focus to the former Sevilla ace.
It’s nothing new though as the Metro reported last month that Rakitic was being linked with an exit from Barcelona, and so time will tell whether or not this is merely another false dawn on the transfer front or a genuine threat of seeing him leave the reigning La Liga champions.