Chelsea have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic as Bayern Munich have joined in the race for his signature, according to reports.
The Catalans reportedly want a hefty £44million for the 30-year-old midfielder, who is concerned about his Nou Camp future amid Frenkie De Jong’s arrival.
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde holds the Croat in high regard and wants him to extend his contract, which expires in 2021.
But Rakitic is considering his options as the La Liga champs are facing a squad revamp around younger players, including Arthur and De Jong – who will join from Ajax in the summer.
And Paris Saint-Germain’s wantaway midfielder Adrien Rabiot is also said to be on his way to Barcelona, only fuelling speculations over Rakitic’s future.
Chelsea are reportedly among sides interested in offering the midfielder an escape route, but Fifa have thrown a spanner in the works by imposing a transfer ban on the Blues.
And Sportreport that the Londoners have been dealt a further blow as Bayern have joined in the race for Rakitic’s signature.
The Catalans have reportedly slapped a £44m price tag on Rakitic, an amount which Bayern could fork out for a player of his characteristics and Bundesliga experience.
Meanwhile, Manchester United are another side understood to be keeping tabs on the experienced midfielder.
But the Croat will have a final say on his future as he has already rejected French giants PSG, who offered around £78m for the World Cup runner-up last summer.
Rakitic has played in 36 games for Barcelona this season, missing only one match in either La Liga or the Champions League – against Atletico Madrid – due to suspension.