When Pep Guardiola arrived at Manchester City, it’s fair to say we expected an influx of Barcelona and Bayern Munich stars to join him at the Etihad.
Though that’s yet to happen as of yet, fans will be delighted with the news that they’re now the clear favourites at 4/1 to land Barca star Ivan Rakitic in a deal which could cost the Citizens some £30m.
Meanwhile, a move to La Liga rivals Real Madrid seems incredibly unlikely, with 33/1 on offer for that deal to cross the line.
The Catalan giants are looking to tie their star man Lionel Messi down to a new contract in order to fend off unwanted interest from the likes of City and every football club in China.
But such are the astronomical amounts of money currently at the disposal of said clubs, Barca will need to offload a number of fringe players in order to cover the increase in Messi’s wages.
And Croatia international Rakitic is just one of the individuals we’re expecting to leave the Camp Nou in the summer, with City leading the way in the race for his signature.
Arriving at Barcelona before the 2014-15 campaign, the 28-year-old has enjoyed plenty of game-time, starting 82 La Liga fixtures under Luis Enrique.
But those opportunities have dried up somewhat this campaign. And despite registering 14 goals and 11 assists during his time with the club, it’s likely a bid from Guardiola would seriously be considered.
Predominantly an energetic figure in the engine room, Rakitic does boast the ability to play in a slightly more advanced role, while also possessing the credentials of a top-quality holding midfielder.
And that’s something the Citizens are desperately in need of.
Much of Guardiola’s emphasis after arriving at the club was on strengthening his front-line and his defensive unit.
But it’s been in the middle of the park where his side’s weaknesses have often been exploited this season.
Sign Rakitic though, and Man City would certainly be a more complete force in their push for the Premier League title.
What do fans think to the news? Should Pep go for Rakitic, or would he be better off looking elsewhere?
Have your say in the comments section below!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing