Spaniards set to pip Manchester United and Chelsea to playmaker

Sources in Spain suggest Atletico Madrid are closing in on the signing of Manchester United and Chelsea target Ivan Rakitic, reports talkSPORT.

The Premier League duo have both expressed an interest in the Sevilla midfielder, who has already found the net nine times from midfield in all competitions this season.

The Croatia international is entering the final 18 months of his contract at the La Liga side, and is yet to agree a new deal.

Sevilla have been desperate to tie the 25-year-old down to a long term deal, but it seems high flying Atletico Madrid are confident of tempting him to the Spanish capital.

Diego Simeone’s side are set to offer the midfielder a three-year contract, with sources in Spain suggesting a deal has already been agreed.

The news will come as a blow to Chelsea and Manchester United in particular, who are desperate to strengthen their midfield options in January.

Rakitic – who was born in Switzerland – started his career with FC Basel, before completing a switch to Bundesliga outfit Schalke, where he stayed for four years.

He made the move to Sevilla in 2011, and has shown the best form of his career during the opening months of this campaign.

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