Liverpool and Manchester United have been handed a massive boost in their pursuit of Ivan Rakitic, after the player denied he has already signed a new contract extension with Sevilla.
Rakitic's was responding to Sevilla President Pepe Castro, who last month revealed that they had already agreed a principal agreement that will see the Croatian star commit his future to the La Liga side.
"We're in advanced talks with Rakitic. We've had two meetings and I believe that we've reached a cordial agreement. I don't believe there will be any problems in signing a new contract in the next several days" Castro told Spanish reporters in February.
"It's an important operation, perhaps the most important the club can aspire to at this time,"
Rakitic has responded by claiming that he is yet to sign a new contract.
"I have been educated to not be against the president, but things are not as easy as it seems. When I get a decision, I'll tell you. Till then, I am focus on my work and Sevilla," Rakitic was quoted by Marca.
Meanwhile reports in Spain claim that Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona and some Italian outfits are monitoring the situation should Rakitic finally decided to refuse a new deal.
The Croatian international still has 16 months remaining on his current contract, but Sevilla will be forced to sell him this summer if he doesn't accept a renewal, as the club won't want to see him go for free in 2015.
Apparently the negotiations have stalled as Rakitic is asking Sevilla to include a significant reduction in his current £33m release clause to facilitate a summer move.
The 25-year-old playmaker, who also can play in a deeper position, has excelled this season for Sevilla, scoring 10 goals and grabbing 11 assists in just 25 La Liga games.