Once Irreplaceable, Now Undesired: Ivan Rakitic Nearing End at Barcelona

Daniela Rogulj

October 15, 2019 – Once an irreplaceable Barcelona midfielder has become written off, unwanted, and deceived in the span of a few months. Is Ivan Rakitic finally on his way out of the Catalan club?

However, Index.hr writes that the thirty-one-year-old Ivan Rakitic did not give up without a fight and refused to leave his beloved Barcelona this summer. But after he found himself as part of the starting eleven only once this season so far, he’s realized that after five and a half years, he’d have to consider leaving the club where he wanted to end his career.

Rakitic is hurting the most from Barcelona’s mind games. In the summer of 2018, PSG handed him an unbelievable offer, but coach Ernesto Valverde ultimately demanded his stay, noting that Rakitic was irreplaceable to him. Barcelona president Bartomeu agreed, adding that he would offer the key midfielder a new, improved, “lifelong” contract. Following these guarantees, Rakitic was convinced that he would remain at Barcelona as one of the untouchable players. 

But earlier this year, the situation radically changed for the worse when Barcelona purchased Frenkie De Jong. The fantastic Dutchman, who is nine years younger than Rakitic, was called the ‘future of Barcelona’ and football in general. Barcelona brought the young midfielder over from Ajax for 75 million euro. It was a clear signal to Rakitic that he was no longer a key player for the club, though he refused to accept it.

With Jong’s arrival this summer, Rakitic has been degraded among the reserves. The rejuvenation of Barcelona is a strategic project decided by the management – and Rakitic was its first victim.

Having struggled fiercely this summer to convince the club that he still has a place in Barcelona, Rakitic has now understood the message and, as Marca writes, began looking for a new club himself. Manchester United and Juventus are interested in the Croatian midfielder, and while he still has two years left of his contract at Barcelona, due to his great merits, the club won’t give him trouble leaving as early as the winter deadline, nor will it set too high of an asking price. 

Rakitic came to Barcelona in the summer of 2014 from Sevilla for 18 million euro. Since then, he has played 274 games for Barcelona, scoring 34 goals and assisting 37. He has won four La Liga titles and the King Cup, one Champions League and one Club World Cup. 

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