Real Madrid will not be moving in for either Arturo Vidal or Paul Pogba this summer, according to Ernesto Bronzetti, the Italian agent of Los Merengues president Florentino Perez.
Speaking to Italian newspaper Tuttosport (h/t Marca's Alvaro Olmedo), Bronzetti said Real "aren't interested in Pogba or Vidal," who would each be expected to command substantial price tags after winning another Serie A title in Turin.
Agent Mino Raiola later released a statement on his client's status:
My player Paul Pogba happy at the club.. He is not going anywhere— Mino Raiola (@MRaiola) June 5, 2014
Do not believe the media reports— Mino Raiola (@MRaiola) June 5, 2014
The Juventus pair have drawn their share of plaudits after forming one of Europe's most effective central midfield combinations, despite not being able to succeed in Europe this past season.
That being said, Italian expert James Horncastle does still rate Vidal above his Juve teammate Pogba, whom he states has "lost his way:"
@Smithy10_ have made it. Pjanic + Vidal [18 goals] had better seasons than Pogba who lost his way a bit in the spring— James Horncastle (@JamesHorncastle) May 21, 2014
Carlo Ancelotti is mentioned in Olmedo's report as being a particularly big fan of the Chilean, while assistant manager Zinedine Zidane is a keen admirer of his French compatriot Pogba, who would be expected to cost somewhere in the region of €60 million.
Los Blancos aren't short on central stars, however, after Xabi Alonso penned a two-year contract extension at the Bernabeu in January, while Luka Modric, Sami Khedira, Asier Illarramendi and Casemiro each bring a different prospect to the squad.
Should they fail to find any fortune in Turin, Real may look more locally to boost their creative ranks, with Sevilla's Europa League hero Ivan Rakitic in their sights.
According to Inside Spanish Football, Rakitic, who has just a year left to run on his current deal in Seville, is the subject of heavy La Liga interest, but Sevilla president Jose Castro is adamant to see the playmaker pen a new contract at the club:
The contract renewal offer to Rakitic is really important to us, as a part of our budget for the next season. We want Rakitic to stay so that the team remains powerful, we really want him to stay.
Rakitic still has a year left on his contract and we’ll have to analyse what comes. The truth of the matter is that many months have gone by, since we reached an agreement with him and he’s still not signed. We’re frustrated about that and I am particularly.
Rakitic's hesitation to sign on the dotted line is understandable when one considers the level of interest in his services right now, coming from some of Europe's biggest outfits.
Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sport suggested that Atletico Madrid are in pole position to sign the World Cup-bound Croatia international:
Also according to Cadena Cope, Atletico are on the verge to sign Rakitic— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) May 28, 2014
Having won the Champions League and Copa del Rey, Real are now in the hunt to better themselves in 2014-15, especially as far as their domestic form is concerned, having finished third this term.
Recent speculation would suggest the engine room is an area of priority for Ancelotti, and while Pogba and Vidal may be considered "dream" signings for some, it seems that Rakitic is the only viable option at this point.