Barcelona are reportedly willing to include Ivan Rakitic in a swap deal package to try and prise Fabian Ruiz away from Napoli.
Since joining the Catalan giants in 2014, Rakitic has made over 50 appearances in each campaign to underline his importance to the side.
However, although the 32-year-old has already made 31 appearances so far this season, he has found himself out of the XI at times and with younger options such as Frenkie de Jong and Arthur looking to secure more prominent roles, it could lead to the stalwart falling down the pecking order.
Further, the Croatian international’s current contract expires in 2021, and so unless he signs a renewal, Barcelona may have to consider an exit this summer in order to avoid the risk of losing him for nothing next year.
As reported by Tuttomercatoweb via Don Diario, it is suggested that Barca are prepared to include Rakitic in their offer for Ruiz, while Real Madrid are also specifically noted as being interested in the Spaniard.
The 24-year-old has been a key figure for Napoli since joining them from Real Betis in 2018, scoring 10 goals and providing five assists in 72 outings.
His technical quality and class in possession as well as his work ethic have allowed him to stand out too, and with those attributes in mind, it’s easy to see him fit in perfectly with the style of play of either Barcelona or Real Madrid.
In turn, it remains to be seen where he goes if he does move on from Napoli this summer, but Barcelona are seemingly looking to offload Rakitic simultaneously. That could be a boost for the Serie A giants in terms of securing an immediate replacement to fill the void left behind by Ruiz if he does leave, while also receiving funds to reinvest back into the squad.
That said, such is Ruiz’s importance and quality, time will tell if they are persuaded to green light an exit at all.