Barcelona in transfer U-turn as key stalwart now expected to stay in January

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Barcelona have now reportedly changed their mind and will look to keep Ivan Rakitic at the Nou Camp as he is no longer considered for sale.

The 31-year-old endured a difficult start to the season as he fell down the pecking order under coach Ernesto Valverde and was often limited to outings off the bench.

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He has still only made 14 appearances across all competitions thus far, but after starting the last three games, he has now put himself back in contention in the starting XI on a regular basis.

Given the Catalan giants have won all three of those games and with Rakitic’s quality and experience added to the side in midfield, it seems as though it has now changed their mind with regards to his future.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the Croatian stalwart is no longer for sale having been tipped to leave in January, as Barcelona have now decided to keep him as he has displayed his ability to still be an important part of the squad.

It was arguably a surprise to see Rakitic fall out of favour in the first place given how important he has been to the reigning La Liga champions since arriving from Sevilla in 2014.

Rakitic has made over 50 appearances in every single campaign that he has spent at the Nou Camp to date, although that record is now at risk of ending this season given his lack of playing time in the early part of the year.

Nevertheless, it seems as though his professionalism and continued commitment even when out of the side has been rewarded not only with a return to the line-up, but also a possible long-term future at Barcelona as they will seemingly keep him beyond January.

That said, he does turn 32 in March, and so the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Arthur will hope that they remain the long-term solutions in the Barcelona midfield if Rakitic is to stay in the more immediate future.

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