Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde feels that Ivan Rakitic will stay at the club despite reports linking him to PSG.
The Croatian international joined Barcelona from Sevilla in 2014 and has made 269 appearances for the Catalan club so far, scoring 34 goals and providing 37 assists. The midfielder was linked to a move to PSG with BBC‘s Guillem Balague claiming that he, Jean-Clair Todibo and Ousmane Dembele would be part of the deal that would see Neymar return to Camp Nou.
However, Valverde feels that the Croat will stay at Barcelona. As quoted by Goal, the Barca manager told reporters: “He is a great player who has played a lot here and nothing makes me think he won’t be here. The season is very long and there is room for everyone.”
Rakitic has been in Barcelona’s squad for both of their La Liga matches so far, making an appearance as a substitute in their 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao. The Blaugrana have some very good players in midfield that include Sergio Busquets, Arthur, Arturo Vidal and Frenkie de Jong. Hence, it won’t be easy for the 31-year-old to find regular first-team football under Valverde this season.
Nevertheless, a player of Rakitic’s calibre will certainly not be a bench warmer and he’s bound to have a good amount of game time this season. It will be interesting to if the Croatian international starts in Barcelona’s match against Osasuna.