Every club has a player where a large section of the supporters will scapegoat them when things go wrong, and that’s Ivan Rakitic to Barcelona.
He was a vital part of the midfield for years and did a good job to help the team win when they lost Xavi and Iniesta, but it does look like age is starting to catch up with him.
His pace is gone and the supporting cast isn’t as good, so his flaws are exposed and he does have the tendency to slow things down and get caught on the ball.
A report from Mundo Deportivo looked at a recent interview with the Croatian, and it’s clear he’s not going to allow himself to be forced out of the club:
“I understand the situation, but I am not a bag of potatoes with which to do anything. You can always talk to me, but the most important thing: I want to be in a place where I am loved, respected and needed, and where both I and my family feel good. If it is here, delighted, if not, where I decide myself, not where I decide and whoever I want.”
He also talked about a possible to return to Sevilla, and it does sound like that could be a genuine option for him:
“I have a special affection for Seville, but directly to the city, I have my family there. I have always said that it would be a great dream to wear that shirt again, everyone knows it, but it is not my own decision, if I want it or not, it has more things behind. Monchi and everyone in Seville has my phone.”
It’s clear that Barcelona are going to rebuild in the next few years as they look to replace several ageing players, so it could be ideal for everyone if that interest from Sevilla turns into a serious bid.