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Barcelona Star Wants To Stay While Club Wants To Sell: Is There Is A Place For Him In The Team?

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Barcelona have ambitious transfer plans this season with a host of players on their wish-list. For that, the club need to move out certain members of their squad to generate the fund. One such man who has been tipped to move out of the Catalan club this summer is Ivan Rakitic as the Croat seems to be left out of the manager’s plans.

However, in a recent interview with Tportal (as reported by Marca), the midfielder has expressed his interest to stay at the club. He said, “Ten or 15 days ago I talked to the club and the conclusion is that I have nothing to talk about because I have a contract until summer 2021 with Barcelona and it’s the club I want to be with and play for.”

Although, the 32-year-old admitted that it has been frustrating for him not to feature regularly for the side. He added, “It’s not nice when you don’t play, especially when you don’t understand why and they don’t explain why.”

The situation at the club

Barcelona want to reinforce the side, and much of their plans revolve around the transfer of a forward to bring in a long term replacement of the likes of Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann. However, the club have also made it clear that they want to strengthen in midfield. They have thus made advances for Miralem Pjanić of Juventus, although the Spanish giants are no closer to bringing the midfielder from Turin.

As far as the other central-midfielders are concerned, the board is pushing away Arthur Melo from the squad, even though the Brazilian wants to stay in Spain. Another player who has manned the midfield of the side for a couple of years now, Arturo Vidal is now 33 and has been left out of the future plans.

Under these circumstances, Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets remain the only options for the Cules in central midfield. Therefore they run the risk of having a wafer-thin squad at the beginning of the new season. Considering these aspects, Quique Setien must re-strategise and think of the consequences of letting so many of his midfielders leave in one window without bringing in adequate replacements.

MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 02: Ivan Rakitic of Barcelona celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 02, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

His role at Barcelona

There is no denying the fact that Rakitic has served the club well in all these years as the Croatia international has featured in 299 matches for the Blaugrana across all competitions. On his day, the Croatian has been one of the most prolific players in the world in his position, and his vision and understanding of the game had been exemplary. However, age has taken a toll on him as the 32-year-old has deteriorated substantially over the years, thus the decision of the club to exclude him from their future scheme of things.

Even this term, he has featured in 21 La Liga matches for the side, although 11 of those appearances came from the bench. Although his attacking contributions have been minimal, the ex-Sevilla man still has completed 88.3% of his total passes, a figure that would be difficult to match for his replacement. Not only that, but he has also played 1.3 long balls per 90 minutes, which certainly gives a different flair to the Catalans. Even at this age, he would be able to make interceptions and deny the opposition the ball by recovering possession, and there is no reason to believe that he cannot continue in this role for a couple of years more.

Overall, Ivan Rakitic is still a vital member of the squad, and we believe he should be given one more season with the Spanish giants.

Stats from Whoscored.

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