Liverpool and Manchester United are running out of time to persuade Ivan Rakitic that his future belongs in the Premier League, with his agent confirming that he has spoken to Real Madrid and also has an offer from Atletico for the Croatian international.
Rakitic has amassed a long list of admirers on the continent with his performances for Sevilla this season, with Liverpool, United and previously Chelsea all watching him closely with a view to summer swoop.
Sevilla have offered their club captain a new contract, with his present deal expiring at the end of next season, but Rakitic has stalled on signing fresh terms with the Europa League contenders to consider options elsewhere.
The 26-year-old's brother and agent Dejan Rakitic spoke about his client's future on Cadena Cope radio yesterday, with Marca reporting that he revealed talks with Real Madrid general manager Jose Angel Sanchez and an official approach from Atletico.
United and in particular Liverpool now face a race against time to lodge a formal offer with Sevilla for the dynamic central midfielder, as Rakitic fast approaches the final year of his contract with the Andalusians holding all the cards in terms of his future destination.
Sevilla remain hopeful that they can persuade their star man to stay put beyond next season, although they will surely have to budge on a €33m release clause if they fail to reach an agreement at the close of the campaign, particularly with the World Cup looming large as another shop window for potential transfer suitors.