Barcelona shock exit: Four-year stalwart linked with summer departure

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Barcelona are in a strong position to collect major honours this season, and so it would be a surprise to see any of the current squad depart this summer.

The Catalan giants boast an 11-point lead at the top of the La Liga table, will contest the Copa del Rey final and have reached the Champions League quarter-final stage.

Ernesto Valverde has undoubtedly found a good balance in his line-up, and Ivan Rakitic has been a pivotal part of that having made 45 appearances in all competitions so far this year.

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That’s now over 200 outings since joining the Catalan giants in 2014, with the Croatian international making 50+ appearances in each of the three campaigns he’s spent at the Nou Camp. That ultimately tells its own story as to how important a figure he is for the team.

In turn, it would seemingly make little sense for him to move on, but according to Don Balon, as re-reported by The Express, the 30-year-old is being linked with a move to Juventus at the end of the season.

It’s suggested that the expected arrival of Arthur will soften the blow of losing Rakitic, but that is a significant amount of experience and quality that Barcelona would be sacrificing. Given that they will intend on competing on various fronts moving forward, his exit would arguably be a terrible move.

In contrast, it represents excellent business from a Juventus perspective, as the Turin giants would be adding a player capable of making an immediate impact in midfield, an area where Massimiliano Allegri is arguably a little light.

Arthur offers Barcelona a longer-term option given his age and room for development, provided he does arrive, but that surely still doesn’t mean moving Rakitic on would be a sensible decision.

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