There’s been a load of speculation about Ivan Rakitic and where he could end up in January. He’s not playing regularly and most likely only has two or three years left at the top level, so he needs to make a move for the sake of his career.
A recent story in Sport has indicated that Barca have received a bid of €15m from an unnamed Premier League club for the Croatian, but it’s been rejected. They go on to suggest the club are holding out for at least €35m to let him go.
In terms of which Premier League clubs make the most sense, it’s hard to look past either Manchester United or Arsenal.
United have struggled to control the midfield in a lot of their games so Rakitic would provide an experienced presence to help dictate the game from deep. It could also free up Paul Pogba to play higher up the pitch in a number 10 role where he could cause a lot of damage. The Barca man might not be able to get box to box as much as he once did, but he would have Scott McTominay to do most of the running so it could work.
Arsenal desperately need someone to step into the Granit Xhaka sized hole in the team for the rest of the season. There’s always been a feeling that Arsenal need an experienced head in the middle of the pitch and Rakitic would be perfect for that. You also imagine it’s pretty unlikely that he would swear at the fans or cause a lot of issues as the Switzerland international has.
The major sticking point for both clubs would be the fact the story from Sport does indicate that he’s reluctant to move to the Premier League.
He turns 32 in March so it would be understandable if he didn’t want to adapt to a higher tempo league at this point in his career. Euro 2020 may also be his last chance to win something with Croatia, so he won’t want to go into the tournament feeling knackered from the league season.
It does still look like he will leave in January, but it’s not clear where he will end up yet.