Ivan Rakitic has revealed he is set to hold talks with Sevilla in a development that's likely to give the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United a better idea regarding their chances of signing the Croatian playmaker.
Rakitic has been in impressive form for the La Liga outfit this season, attracting some major European attention in the process, with his current deal set to expire in the summer of 2015.
However, the Spanish club are expected to attempt to tie the 25-year-old down with a renewed deal, in an effort to ward off the interest of those clubs circling overhead.
There is nothing new to say -- we have all been on holidays. I have not been on the mobile, just letting the days pass.
We are going to sit down, we will talk and then we will see what we can do. Everyone knows that I am always excited about training and playing games, being around the city -- they know that I enjoy life here, and it is really nice to be a part of Sevilla.
The midfielder's current deal includes a €40 million release clause, which the club may look to increase or omit altogether if they manage to extend their star's stay at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan.
As Corrigan suggests, club president Jose Castro has previously stated Rakitic will only be allowed to depart Sevilla should that clause be triggered, although the club's financial issues might mean they're forced to cash in for less.
Per Transfermarkt, the player has scored seven goals and made eight assists this term, but it's his influence on the rest of the squad and his leadership that has perhaps been most valuable for Sevilla.
WhoScored shows just how vital the player's statistics have been so far this term:
In the last six months, Sevilla have sold a raft of their big-name players in order to balance the books.
Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas headed to Manchester City, while Gary Medel made his way to Cardiff City over the summer.
Should Liverpool plump for Rakitic?
Highly promising youngsters Geoffrey Kondogbia and Luis Alberto also exited Sevilla in the summer months—for Monaco and Liverpool, respectively.
Brendan Rodgers will be well aware of the fact that Steven Gerrard turns 34 at the end of this season, meaning he has an unknown amount of time left at the top level.
With that in mind, a successor will undoubtedly rank among the priorities in 2014, with Rakitic apparently fitting the bill as a well-rounded creator with a goal threat of his own.
The reported talks between Sevilla and their talisman are likely to give Rakitic a more definitive idea of what the future holds, with the possibility of a Premier League switch looming.