Liverpool & Barcelona target set for new Sevilla contract

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Liverpool and Barcelona have been dealt a blow in their alleged pursuit of Ivan Rakitic after Sevilla president José Castro revealed the playmaker is set to extend his stay in La Liga, reports French publication L'Equipe.

The Croatia international has been heavily with a move away from the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, having attracted admiring glances from a host of top European clubs.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has been credited with an interest in bringing the 25-year-old to Anfield during the summer, as he looks to further strengthen his squad ahead of a Premier League title push next season.

Liverpool will face competition for Rakitic's signature though, with Barcelona chief Tata Martino also keen to lure the player to Camp Nou, while Inter Milan complete the trio of suitors of the attacking midfielder.

However, all three clubs could now miss out on the Sevilla star, after Castro intimated that Rakitic will sign an extension beyond his current deal, which expires in 2015.

"This is an important negotiation, we had meetings and I think we have reached a friendly agreement," he said. "Rakitic and Seville have made ​​a great effort to reach this agreement.

"I do not think there will be a problem for the signing of the contract in the coming days.

"There are still some details to work out, but the deal happen safely, that's for sure."

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