Manchester United, Chelsea & Liverpool target "honoured" by Lazio link

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Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea may be concerned by the latest comments to come from summer transfer target Ivan Rakitic, as he has been hinting at an attraction for another club in Serie A.

All three of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea have been credited with an interest in the Croatia international with a view to making an approach for him this summer. It now appears as though they will have to content with interest out of Serie A and Rakitic's agent has hinted that he would not be averse to such a move, saying he was "honoured" to be linked with them, though insisting he had his mind on Sevilla for now.

"It is an honour that big teams such as Lazio are thinking about my brother. [But] now it is still premature to talk about these things," Dejan Rakitic, the midfielder's agent and brother, said to Il Messaggero.

It has been a sensational season for the 26-year-old as he has been the creative driving force behind Sevilla's push for the top four and a Champions League spot in La Liga. Although Athletic Bilbao are heavy favourites to beat Sevilla to the spot - they are six points ahead - it is no surprise that Rakitic's performances have brought admiring glances from Europe's big clubs.

Manchester United may have signed Juan Mata for £37million in January, but they are still lacking drive in midfield and Rakitic would address such issues. He is a more dynamic player than the Spaniard and Shinji Kagawa, so could be an upgrade for David Moyes' squad.

Meanwhile, Liverpool will need to address squad depth ahead of next season as they are certain to qualify for the Champions League and that means there is almost no chance they will be able to repeat the feat of being the Premier League club to make the fewest changes in matches. There is also the fact that Steven Gerrard is moving into the final stages of his career - he is still in terrific form, but at 33 years old a replacement needs to be earmarked soon.

Jose Mourinho has a number of creative central midfield options at his disposal, but the departure of Juan Mata this season shows he was not entirely happy about the squad he inherited. Rakitic could provide further options from deep in midfield, where Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel look as though they could be facing their final days at Stamford Bridge.

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La Liga
Manchester United
Premier League
Serie A

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