Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Ivan Rakitic Could Be Rodgers' Next Midfield General

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2013

POZNAN, POLAND - JUNE 14: Ivan Rakitic of Croatia applauds the fans during the UEFA EURO 2012 group C match between Italy and Croatia at The Municipal Stadium on June 14, 2012 in Poznan, Poland.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

A winter move could be on the cards for Ivan Rakitic after it became apparent that the midfielder may be growing concerned with his situation at Sevilla.

The club are currently seventh in La Liga and seven points away from the top four, although Rakitic continues to shine under Unai Emery.

Sky Sports' Pete O'Rourke tweeted back in June to show the Reds have been long-term admirers of the anchor: 

Alex Richards of the Mirror recently reported that Brendan Rodgers is looking into a January move for the playmaker who, after speaking with Slovenian website Nogomania, is quoted as saying: 

A football player can never say with certainty that he will remain in his club.

Such is the nature of our business. I'm in Seville for three years now and in this time many things have changed. It is clear that in such a big club people can not be satisfied with average results. If there is no success, if there are no trophies, frustration grows. Everything has changed.

Nevertheless, Rakitic, who has seven goals this term, has said that he will continue giving everything to his current employers. Rakitic said, per Richards, "I can assure you that I'm 100 percent focused on Sevilla and I only think about our next match."

Liverpool are understandably in the hunt for some new central talent, with Joe Allen failing to live up to expectations since moving from Swansea City and Steven Gerrard set to turn 34 next May.

With the Reds' stalwart slowly moving out of the midfield picture, it's even been suggested that Gerrard could prolong his career by migrating to centre-back, Rodgers told BBC Sport.

SEVILLE, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 25:   Ivan Rakitic of Sevilla FC celebrates after scoring Sevilla's second goal during the La liga match between Sevilla FC and Rayo Vallecano de Madrid at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on September 25, 2013 in Seville, Spain.
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Rakitic has been one of only a few bright spots in Sevilla's midfield this term, scoring seven goals and making five assists, creating almost two scoring chances per match on average, according to Squawka.

Squawka showed at the end of the 2012/13 campaign just what a creative influence Rakitic can be:

The Croatian has shown his versatility this season, too, regularly switching between attacking midfield and a more centralised position, changing his priorities according to his surroundings.

Rakitic, like Gerrard, is an unselfish asset, willing to perform where he's most needed and do what is required for his squad above all else, not to mention sharing a similar taste for set pieces.

Even in the interview quoted above, the playmaker remains professional, albeit clearly frustrated with a lack of competition for silverware.

SEVILLE, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 02: Ivan Rakitic (L) of Sevilla FC crosses the ball during the La Liga match between Sevilla FC and Celta de Vigo at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on November 2, 2013 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

One positive to come from the Reds' lack of European football this season is that the club don't need to be bothered with any such squabbles as a player being cup-tied, meaning their options are as open as any other clubs right now in terms of new-year prospects.

However, while that may be the case, it's important that the club pay attention to value when it presents itself, lest they slip back into the frivolous trends of recent transfer windows under previous management.

Rakitic's injection of playmaking resource through the middle could be a very affordable purchase at the midway point in the campaign, a leading figure with the potential to keep their Premier League contention alive until May.