Arsenal and Liverpool eye Barcelona midfielder following Coutinho move

Arsenal and Liverpool are keen to sign Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic in the wake of Philippe Coutinho’s £142m move to the Nou Camp.

Coutinho, who is out of action for three weeks with a thigh strain, is expected to be utilised as a central midfielder as a long term replacement for Andres Iniesta.

Despite his advancing years, Iniesta continues to be a an integral part to Barcelona at the moment, as does long standing servant Sergio Busquets, while summer signing Paulinho has been a surprise revelation, helping the club open up a nine point lead at the top of La Liga. This means that Rakitic could be the man to miss out when Coutinho returns to fitness.

According to Spanish publication Diario Gol, both Arsenal and Liverpool are interested in signing the Croatian, although Italian champions Juventus are also thought to be interested in the 29-year-old.

Rakitic has publicly welcomed the arrival of Coutinho to the Catalan club, although seems to be unsure regarding the exorbitant fee the club have paid for his services. He said:

“Every good player is welcome, I congratulate the president and everyone who has made it possible for us to be here.

“We welcome him as one more, he is one of the family, we all know him, we are going to enjoy him a lot.

“Every good player is welcome and we will all fight for the goals, no matter my opinion about the price, it’s gone up a bit, but it’s the market that decides where to move, but it’s the biggest club in the world.

“We wanted another player to come, one who is among the best.

“He can not play the Champions League, but that was already known, he will help us in La Liga and hopefully in the cup.

“But we have to give him time, we will give him affection.”

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