Ivan Rakitic suggests he doesn’t want to leave Barcelona, amid interest from Arsenal, having hailed the recent arrival of Philippe Coutinho.
Coutinho joined Barcelona in a £145m deal over the weekend, and he’s threatening to take Rakitic’s place in the team. According to Spanish outlet Diario Gol, the midfielder was already considering leaving the Catalan club as a result, with Arsenal, Liverpool and Juventus all trying to tempt the 29-year-old to move on.
But Rakitic argues there’s no problem with a new arrival. He said: “Every great player is welcome here. He (Coutinho) is one of the family now, we are going to enjoy him a lot. He’s now at the biggest club in the world.”
The Gunners probably had the potential impending departure of Mesut Özil on their minds. If the German leaves the club this summer, and Santi Cazorla doesn’t recover, the squad is starting to run low on technically capable midfield players.
Rakitic isn’t really an Özil replacement, considering he’s not as involved in the goals. The Croatia international scored one and assisted three in 28 appearances this season. Even so, he’d still provide some quality in possession. But the former Sevilla player isn’t ready to move on just yet anyway.
Diario Gol say he wants to wait until after the World Cup, as a good campaign in the summer would increase his chances of a good move. Coutinho can’t play in the Champions League this season either, meaning Rakitic should still get game time. He’s better off waiting.
It’s risky to move to a new league and a new team six months before the tournament, let alone leaving a side who look destined to win La Liga this season. I can’t see this story developing any further this window.