Liverpool, Arsenal, Juventus Linked with Barcelona Midfielder Ivan Rakitic

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2018

Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic attends a press conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League soccer match against Juventus, at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017. (Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA via AP)
Alessandro Di Marco/Associated Press

Ivan Rakitic could reportedly be on his way out of Barcelona following Philippe Coutinho's recent arrival at the Camp Nou.

According to Diario Gol (via MailOnline's Oliver Todd), the former Sevilla star is one of a number of Barca players who feel their place has been threatened by Coutinho's signing, and Arsenal, Liverpool and Juventus could all be interested in moving for Rakitic in the summer.

It is unclear yet where manager Ernesto Valverde will fit Coutinho into his Barcelona side, and it is likely to be a few weeks before the Brazilian makes his debut as he is recovering from a thigh injury.

Given his versatility, there are a number of positions the 25-year-old could fill following his £142 million move from Liverpool to Barcelona.

Valverde has preferred a 4-4-2 system for much of the 2017-18 campaign, and Rakitic has played a central role.

Coutinho could operate as a direct replacement for Rakitic in the middle of the park in a 4-4-2 system or pose an indirect threat to the Croatian's starting spot by pushing Andres Iniesta from the left into a more central role.

Equally, Coutinho's arrival could prompt Valverde to switch to a 4-3-3 system in which he, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele, Lionel Messi, Iniesta and Sergio Busquets play as the front six.

Either way, Rakitic looks set to be one of the key players whose game time is compromised when Coutinho is fit enough to be considered for first-team action.

The 29-year-old has been a valuable player for Barca since joining the club in 2014, but he looks the most dispensable of the regular starters given the incredible quality of his team-mates. 

As a result, it is of little surprise Rakitic is being linked with a move away from the Camp Nou, and he has more than enough quality to secure a first-team spot at Arsenal, Liverpool or Juventus.

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