One of the hardest things for a club to get right is how they treat the veterans in the squad who have done a good job over the years. They won’t want fans to think they are being disrespectful, but they also don’t want them to leave and shine somewhere else.
They definitely don’t want them to go to a rival where they could come back to haunt them in the future. Many in Spain will only see Real Madrid as being a true rival to Barcelona, but Atletico Madrid have had their moments over the past few years.
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They only sit one point away from the top of La Liga, so it would be a pretty big shock if Barca were to trade a proven world class performer to them.
Only that’s exactly what’s being reported in Spain just now. According to Movistar+, Atleti are willing to pay the €40m fee that Barca want to let him leave the Nou Camp:
— #Vamos de Movistar+ (@vamos) November 14, 2019
From the Croatian’s point of view, he does need to make some sort of move in Janaury. He turns 32 next March and Euro 2020 could be his last realistic chance to win a major tournament with Croatia.
To be at his best in the tournament, he needs more than the occasional sub or cup appearance, so a move to Atleti might be ideal for him. You could even look at the flip side and say Diego Simeone might run him into the ground, but it’s still preferable to his current situation.
It’s worth noting at this point that although the report suggests Atletico are willing to pay the asking price, there’s nothing to say Barca would be willing to let him go there.
It’s starting to look like Rakitic will be on the move in January, it just remains to be seen where he decides to go.