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BARCELONA

Atlético ready to pay Barcelona's asking price for Rakitic

The Croatian has fallen down the pecking order under Valverde with a host of midfielders vying for minutes and Atlético could be ready to pounce.

El centrocampista croata del Barcelona, Ivan Rakitic, durante un partido.
Gorka Leiza Diario AS

According to Susana Guasch on Movistar's #Vamos, the future of Ivan Rakitic could be resolved very soon. The midfielder has stated that he wants minutes: "I'm sad because they've taken the ball from me." The Croatian has lost his place in Ernesto Valverde's plans this season with the arrival of Frenkie de Jong. 

"Rakitic could leave Barcelona in January, in the winter transfer market," said Guasch. She also said that Atlético want to sign him. "There is a club that is willing to pay what Barcelona are asking. That club is Atlético Madrid," she said.

Barcelona are asking for €40 million, the same price they asked in the summer. The Croatian has a contract until 2021 and while they are willing to pay the asking price, they have not forgotten that the player has a high salary. "€6.5 million," said Guasch. 

They already have Thomas, Saúl, Koke, Llorente and Herrera but Rakitic would add experience and an ability to circulate the ball, which is something they lost when Rodri left for Manchester City during the summer. A host of other clubs are interested in Rakitic also.

The Croatian has played 10 games this season but not one full 90 and he has only accumulated 255 minutes. The fans wants Rakitic to continue and play a role but there is a backlog of midfielder waiting for minutes: Busquets, Arthur and De Jong are the starters and Sergi Roberto and Arturo Vidal are waiting in the wings.

Atlético, at the moment, explain that they will not be making any moves in the winter because between salaries and amortizations, they have no wiggle room. They don't plan on selling anyone either.