Chelsea and Manchester United appear as if they are about to miss out on Croatian star Ivan Rakitic.
According to reports from Spanish newspaper AS cited by talkSPORT, La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid are nearing a deal to bring the talented playmaker to the Vicente Calderon on a three-year deal.
25-year-old Sevilla midfielder Rakitic joined his current club from Bundesliga side Schalke 04 back in January 2011 and has duly impressed in Spain with his dynamic attacking performances at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.
Such displays had seen Rakitic - who has won 59 senior international caps during his career to date and is believed to be valued at around the £15 million mark - linked with a host of European clubs, with Premier League title rivals Chelsea and Manchester United believed to be among his list of potential suitors.
Whether such news could tempt either of those aforementioned clubs to launch a move of their own for the player, is certainly unclear.
Despite Sunday's morale-boosting 3-0 victory over Aston Villa, Manchester United have nevertheless endured an uncharacteristically underwhelming start to the 2013/14 campaign and David Moyes evidently lacks a truly efficient attacking presence in his midfield at Old Trafford.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have a plethora of attacking midfield options to choose from, yet there are growing murmurings of discontent becoming increasingly audible among the club's fanbase after another laboured performance against struggling Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho, who clearly does not seem to place a great deal of trust in Spaniard Juan Mata, could do with an injection of fresh talent.
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