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Barcelona Transfer News: Robin van Persie Targets Blaugrana Move, Latest Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2016

Ajax's Joel Veltman blocks a shot by Fenerbahce’s Robin van Persie, right, during the Europa League group A soccer match between Ajax and Fenerbahce at the ArenA stadium in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Robin van Persie is reportedly hoping to leave Fenerbahce this summer and has offered to become Barcelona's fourth forward. 

According to Sport, Van Persie wants out of Turkey and is willing to be a back-up to Barca's exalted front three.

As WhoScored.com revealed, the former Arsenal and Manchester United striker had a fine season in 2015/16:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Robin van Persie: Only Mario Gomez scored more frequently than Van Persie (1 goal every 114.5 mins) in the Super Lig last season (10+ goals)

He netted 16 goals in the Super Lig and 22 in all competitions. Each of his strikes can be seen here:

It's evident Van Persie is still an effective operator in the penalty area and has retained his goalscoring instinct.

Barca already have Munir El Haddadi as cover for their front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar but could certainly use a more experienced player to rotate with their other attackers.

However, Van Persie will be 33 in August—he'd likely struggle to keep up with his team-mates and their intricate, quick-tempo play in the final third.

Further, according to Sport, he has an annual salary of €5 million. That would be a significant investment for a declining player who would not be a regular starter and would have a limited shelf life at the club.

It seems far more likely Barca will look elsewhere or stick with Munir.

Angel Fernandez/Associated Press

In other news, Sport's Xavier Ortuno reported that one of Ivan Rakitic's representatives, Miquel Sors, reacted to Andre Gomes' arrival in Barcelona by tweeting "I think it is time to go..."

The central midfielder has been excellent for the Blaugrana since arriving from Sevilla in 2014 thanks to his technical ability, passing range and work rate.

He bagged nine goals and six assists for Barca last season, and Spanish football expert Sergi Dominguez was impressed with him in a more advanced role for Croatia this summer:

Sergi Domínguez @FutbolSergi

Really liked Rakitić playing as a #10 today. Great movement and passing into areas that destabilised opposition. And of course, fierce shot.

The Mirror's Ed Malyon provided some context to the tweet but doubted the 28-year-old is likely to leave the Camp Nou:

Ed Malyon @eaamalyon

Last RT: Rakitic has wanted a new deal for a while. Barcelona would be crazy to let him go and very unlikely they will even consider it

Indeed, Sport later reported Sors had clarified his cryptic message: "At no point have I referred to anyone in particular. I simply referred to the overbooking, nothing more. We are delighted to be here."

He added: "It was a personal opinion, nothing more. Nothing in it, end of the matter, case closed."

There is indeed a wealth of midfield talent at the Camp Nou, with Barca also boasting Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Arda Turan, Denis Suarez and a number of others.

Rakitic is among the most important of those, though, so it seems unlikely he'd be the first casualty if Luis Enrique were to trim down his midfield.

Barcelona face a long season ahead, battling on multiple fronts. They'll be glad for the strength in depth that will allow them to rest and rotate players.

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