Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde will face an anxious wait for an update on the condition of Ivan Rakitic after he sustained an injury while on Croatia duty.
The 30-year-old has been a key figure as usual so far this season, making 17 appearances in all competitions while scoring three goals and providing three assists.
With that in mind, the last thing that the Catalan giants will want is to see that he has suffered an injury setback on international duty, but that’s exactly what they’re facing this week, as confirmed by Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic.
“He will go to Barcelona, it’s a serious injury. You know that I usually take no risk. If there is a doubt that the injury could be serious, then we let him rest,” he told Sky Sports.
“We want healthy players and Ivan in this moment is not 100 per cent ready. Unfortunately, we are going to play without him.”
Rakitic played in the win over Spain earlier in the week, but it’s assumed that he picked up the problem in that encounter and now runs the risk of a spell on the sidelines.
The midfield stalwart will undoubtedly undergo further tests and scans when he returns to Barcelona, but ultimately it’s far from an ideal situation that he comes back with what Dalic has described as a ‘serious injury’, which was enough for Croatia to rule him out of their crunch clash with England on Sunday and send him back.
For Barca, they face a huge clash of their own against Atletico Madrid on November 24, but based on the report above, it’s questionable as to whether Rakitic will be available for selection and so Valverde may well have to consider other options.