Barcelona stalwart was keen on exit, deal close but key issue scuppered move

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Barcelona midfield stalwart Ivan Rakitic was reportedly close to joining Juventus this summer, and the player himself was keen on the move.

The 31-year-old has been a pivotal figure for the Catalan giants since joining them from Sevilla in 2014, as he has made over 50 appearances in each of the campaigns he has spent at the Nou Camp.

SEE MORE: Talks held: Juventus and Barcelona consider potential double swap deal on deadline day

However, having been benched to start the new La Liga season coupled with the recent additions of the likes of Arthur and Frenkie de Jong, question marks are perhaps now beginning to be asked about Rakitic’s position in the starting line-up under coach Ernesto Valverde.

As noted by Marca, the deadline passed on Monday with no exit materialising and so for now, he remains a Barcelona player despite the issues mentioned above.

Nevertheless, Calciomercato report that a deal was close for him to join Juventus this summer, and while he was keen on a move to join the reigning Serie A champions, an agreement wasn’t reached between the two clubs and so an exit was scuppered.

That’s in contrast to what Marca note in the report above as they claim despite the disappointment over dropping down the pecking order and rumours of being included in a swap deal for Neymar, Rakitic didn’t want to leave Barcelona and the club decided not to sell.

In turn, there appears to be contradicting reports from Spain and Italy, but ultimately what is certain is that Rakitic will remain a Barcelona player this season, and time will tell whether or not Juventus or any other club will try to prise him away next year.

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