Barcelona dropped more points in La Liga this weekend, as the Blaugrana continued their average start to their 2019/20 season.
Having lost their first game of the campaign away to Athletic Bilbao, Barca dropped another set of points yesterday, as they drew 2-2 away from home to newly-promoted Osasuna.
For the match, manager Valverde opted to start with the same team that had beaten Real Betis 5-2 the weekend before, a decision that meant Ivan Rakitic was, yet again, left out of the club’s starting XI.
And following this, Valverde has come out and confirmed that the reason as to why the Croatian is yet to start a league game for the club so far this year.
As per the Mirror, Valverde commented on his decision to leave Rakitic out, stating that “What do you want me to say? Last year he was playing and [Nelson] Semedo was on the bench. The other day he played well and we stuck with the same team, with Sergi Roberto in midfield. We have a lot to choose from.”
Valverde then added “The market does not influence my decisions at all. If I think he’ll come in handy for a game, I’ll play him. I choose depending on the game.”
Valverde’s decision to bench Rakitic thus far this campaign comes amid reports linking him with a move away from the Nou Camp, with La Repubblica stating that, via Calcio Mercato, Inter Milan have the Croat on their radar.
Since his arrival at the club from Sevilla in the summer of 2014, Rakitic has been a mainstay in the Blaugrana’s midfield, however now, it seems like the 31-year-old’s time at the Nou Camp could be coming to an end.
Valverde seems to be favouring starting Frenkie De Jong in midfield over Rakitic this season, something that could’ve been expected given how much the club paid to bring him in from Ajax.
Given that there’s just hours left in this summer’s transfer window, it’ll be interesting to see if Rakitic ends up sealing a move away from the Camp Nou, or whether he ends up sticking it out and competing for his place in the club’s starting XI for the season ahead.