According to Dario Sport, Barcelona are not in an rush to renew the contract of Ivan Rakitic any time soon, throwing the Croatian international’s future into doubt.
The 31-year old has a contact for two more years with the Catalan club until 2021 and the five time European champions seem reluctant to extend it. The player who was born in Switzerland, joined Barcelona back in 2014 for a reported fee of $18M Euros from Sevilla.
Ivan Rakitic spent his formative years with FC Basel in Switzerland and Schalke 04, before joining the Spanish club in 2011. In Seville, he won the UEFA Europa League in 2014, lifting the trophy as the captain and he won the man of the match award to boot.
His time in Barcelona has been trophy laden, with a UEFA Champions League title in 2015 and three La Liga titles among a host of other honours in his almost five years at the club. His position at the club has become the subject of much talk in the Catalan press, especially since Barcelona signed Brazilian Arthur Melo and they just invested $80M Euros on Dutch starlet Frenkie De Jong to bring him over from Ajax for next season.
With Sergio Busquets still being the anchor in the midfield and the club possibly looking to bring through some of their younger players from their much famed La Masia, Rakitic’s position has become a bit unstable at the moment.
The Croatian’s agent Arturo Canales however, has moved swiftly to refute those rumors, reportedly saying that it is the player’s intention to stay at the club. The major sticking point at the moment is a salary increase. Rakitic has claimed that he was promised a salary increase, something that he has reportedly made public several times, however, Barcelona, at least at the moment are not willing to offer an increase.
Last summer, it was reported that French giants PSG had offered $90M Euros for the player last summer, an offer which Barca apparently accepted, however, the player himself, rejected the transfer, wanting to instead stay at Barcelona.
There have been a few meetings between Rakitic’s entourage and the Barca hierarchy to discuss the situation, but nothing concrete has been decided either way. After Barca’s Derby win over regional rivals Espanyol over the weekend, Rakitic was asked about the situation, and he said he would speak to the club at the end of the season to discuss his future.
The center midfielder has been linked with clubs such as Inter and a few in the English Premier League, but with the player having rejected PSG just last year, it would be interesting to see if he accepts those offers should they come. Barca’s manager Ernesto Valverde has seemingly said he would like to see the player stay at the club.
Speaking recently to Marca, the former Atletic Bilbao manager said,
“It’s a question for the coach and the club. We are very happy with him and with the entire coaching staff. He’s more likely to continue with us, but we must focus on playing and winning and let them decide what’s best.”
In addition to the trophies won, Rakitic has scored 33 goals in 252 games for the club, including the first in the Champions League final in 2015, the last time the club were European champions.