Inter are set to make a move for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, with the Serie A side's interest in the Croatian 'serious' ahead of a summer swoop.
The World Cup finalist has been a key figure in the Catalans' engine room since arriving at Camp Nou from La Liga rivals Sevilla in 2014. Rakitic has stepped into the considerable void left by Xavi, and has featured in 27 league outings for the Spanish champions this term.
However, with Rakitic having turned 31 this month and the big-money signing of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax already secured, Mundo Deportivo report that Barcelona may view the summer as an ideal time to cash in on their midfield star - and Inter's interest in Rakitic is 'serious'.
The report suggests that, despite Rakitic's importance to head coach Ernesto Valverde, the club may consider selling the playmaker due to the financial implications of a potential sale. A host of Premier League clubs are also said to be interested, including Manchester United.
However, it is said that Barcelona would not consider selling Rakitic for anything less than €50m and, with Rakitic's contract due to expire in 2021, the situation largely works in the player's favour. The Catalans must either sell the Croatian or extend his current deal at Camp Nou.
Serie A giants Inter have apparently made their interest in a potential deal official, seemingly establishing the San Siro outfit as the front-runners in what could become a race to secure Rakitic's services, with PSG also known to have held an interest in the midfielder.
Inter also held a protracted interest in signing Rakitic's Croatia teammate Luka Modric from Real Madrid last summer, though a deal ultimately failed to materialise, and the Nerazzurri could now be in line sign his compatriot instead.