Chelsea and Manchester United are preparing to battle for Sevilla playmaker Ivan Rakitic, according to reports in Croatia.
The 25-year-old midfielder is proving to be a sensation in La Liga this season. He has stepped into the shoes of Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo at Sevilla and is catching the eye of many big clubs - including Chelsea and Manchester United - while last summer he also was linked with Liverpool.
Croatian media outlet Jutarnji List claimed Blues manager Jose Mourinho is monitoring his situation. The Portuguese boss knows Rakitic from his tenure at Real Madrid and according to the reports Chelsea representatives have already make contact with the player.
United, who have been looking for a playmaker since last summer, are also interested in acquiring his services. Manager David Moyes already tried to sign him in the past when he was at Everton and now see him as the perfect complement for his midfield.
Rakitic has scored seven goals and made six assists in 13 La Liga games while last season he netted eight goals and 10 assists in the whole tournament.
Rakitic's brother, who is also his agent, is currently negotiating a new contract for the player with Sevillla. The Croatian international has two years remaining in his current contract but the Spanish club are trying to extend it to four.
"A couple of weeks ago I was offered a contract extension, even though I still have a year-and-a-half left on my current deal." Rakitic confirmed last week.
Rakitic's release clause is £33m but the Spanish side may consider lower offers due to their economic issues. Indeed last summer they sold some of their best players such as Navas and Negredo to Manchester City for a combined £40m.