Pep Guardiola receives transfer blow as Man City move for troubled Barcelona star on hold

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has suffered a setback as it’s reported that Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic won’t be leaving this month.

As per The Guardian, City have been linked with a move for the Croatian international this month with Guardiola keen to bolster his midfield options.

Having lost Ilkay Gundogan to injury and with Fernandinho’s disciplinary issues in mind along with needing to find a long-term replacement for Yaya Toure, it is an area that needs consideration.

However, it doesn’t look as though Rakitic will be solving the problem as it’s reported that he’s staying with the Catalan giants for the rest of the season at least.

Things haven’t been going well for the former Sevilla ace this year, as he’s lost his place in the Barca starting line-up and hasn’t played in La Liga since the draw with Real Madrid over a month ago.

Further, he was left out of the squad to face Villarreal at the weekend, which naturally sparked further speculation over his future with doubts continuing to build.

Nevertheless, with his contract running until 2019, there is no immediate rush to sort out his future, with a troublesome ankle injury and increased competition for places with the arrivals of Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez last summer adding to his problems.

Provided that he can rediscover full fitness and form, Rakitic will undoubtedly have a role to play for Barca between now and the end of the season, and given his quality, Luis Enrique would be well advised to reintroduce him sooner rather than later as his side continue to toil.

Although they were able to turn their Copa del Rey clash with Athletic Bilbao around, they remain five points adrift of Real at the top of the La Liga table, while their bitter rivals also have a game in hand.

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