Barcelona Could Offload Croatian Midfield Maestro This Summer: Should The Blaugrana Sell Their Man?

Barcelona's Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic passes the ball during the Spanish Super Cup semi final between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid on January 9, 2020, at the King Abdullah Sport City in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah. - The winner will face Real Madrid in the final on January 12. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

According to a recent report by Spanish news publication Marca, La Liga giants Barcelona are expected to place Croatian international midfielder Ivan Rakitic up for sale in the upcoming summer transfer window. The former FC Basel man is contracted to the Nou Camp club only until the summer of 2021, at which point the Blaugrana would have to run the risk of letting him walk away on a free transfer. It is also claimed that the Catalan side are confident of receiving at least €20m for their experienced midfielder in the summer.

The report suggests that the Croatian has been ‘in the shop window’ for a couple of transfer windows now and that the Blaugrana will attempt to recuperate some of the €18m plus add-ons they paid to Sevilla to acquire his services back in 2014. It has been suggested that the Catalan side would even be willing to settle for a player-plus-cash deal and that if they’re able to get back what they paid for him, it would indeed be considered a shrewd piece of business.

What Is Ivan Rakitic’s Legacy At Barcelona?

The Croatian midfielder arrived from Sevilla in the summer of 2014 with massive expectations already weighing him down. Despite this, it’s safe to say that the playmaker has been one of the Catalan side’s most loyal servants for quite a while now.

The midfielder has been at the heart of everything positive that the Blaugrana has produced out on the football pitch over the last many years. The goal he scored in the 2015 Champions League final will surely be etched deep into the hearts of most Barcelona faithful as well.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MARCH 07: Ivan Rakitic of FC Barcelona runs during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on March 07, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Having been at the club for a little under six years now, Rakitic has played in a total of 299 fixtures for the Catalan side, picking up a half-decent record of 34 goals and 41 assists along the way. Although these numbers might not be overly inspiring on paper, it must be noted that the midfielder prefers to sit in front of the centre-halves and conduct the tempo of the fixture. His movement and passing have been an important feature of this Barcelona team over the last many years.

Should Barcelona Cash In On Rakitic In The Summer?

Although the Croatian has been one of the Blaugrana’s most effective players over time, the fact remains that he is now in the wrong side of his thirties, and well on his way to the twilight years of his career. While some will argue that players like Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez are getting there too, it must be conceded that playing in the midfield core of a fluid team like Barcelona does tend to take its toll on the physical fitness of a player.

Rakitic is certainly not the player he was a couple of years ago, as can be seen from the lack of playing time he’s received this season. Although the playmaker has made 21 La Liga appearances, most of them were off the bench in late stages of the tie.

Moreover, the fact that the 32-year-old is yet to open his goalscoring account for the campaign would be a concern too. With names like Sergio Busquets and now Arthur and Frenkie De Jong available to Quique Setien, it’s perhaps not overly surprising that Rakitic has been eased out of the starting lineup. Given the apparent quality the Croatian still possesses, it would be in the best interest of both parties for him to be sold in the summer.

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