Time for goodbye – After 38 goals and 34 assists, it’s time for Barcelona to part ways with veteran star

Why Barcelona should offload Rakitic sooner rather than later

According to Sport (h/t Daily Mirror), a £13million transfer bid for Ivan Rakitic from an unnamed Premier League side has been rejected by Barcelona.

The 2014-15 Champions League winner had earlier been linked with a move to Premier League side Manchester United.

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic.
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic. (Getty Images)

Italians clubs such as Inter Milan and Juventus were also seemingly interested in the Croatian midfielder.

However, the four-time La Liga winner with Barcelona has increasingly fallen down the pecking order with current coach Ernesto Valverde.

Also, the arrival of Dutch playmaker Frankie de Jong in the summer has put his starting place in even more contention.

New Barcelona signing Frenkie de Jong
BARCELONA, SPAIN – JULY 05: New Barcelona signing Frenkie de Jong waves to fans pitch as he is unveiled at Camp Nou stadium on July 05, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the Spanish giants had rejected the transfer bid as it fell way short of their €35m valuation for the Croatian.

However, a move up North clearly does not interest the 31-year old, as claimed by Sport (h/t Daily Mirror).

Having played over 278 games for the Catalonians, Rakitic has scored 38 goals and assisted 34 times since arriving from Sevilla in 2014.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde.
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde. (Getty Images)

Rakitic, who has played over a hundred (106) games for his country, has become something of an outcast with De Jong, Sergio Busquets, Arthur, Arturo Vidal and Sergi Roberto given the nod ahead of the Croatian.

He also played an instrumental role alongside Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric in leading their country to the 2018 World Cup final.

However, they lost the final to France. The former Sevilla player, meanwhile, has 15 international goals to his credit.

Rakitic in action for Barcelona.
Rakitic in action for Barcelona. (Getty Images)

A regular until recently, Rakitic has played a total of ten games from all competitions this season and has managed to find the back of the net just once.

However, with so much competition in the middle, and Rakitic clearly not in Valverde’s plans, a move elsewhere would be beneficial for both the parties.

Moreover, it seems clearly necessary for the Catalonians to offload their out-of-favour midfielder as they need to bring in over £100m in sales next summer, according to Sport (h/t Daily Mirror).

The young Arthur has been impressive for Barcelona this season.
The young Arthur has been impressive for Barcelona this season. (Getty Images)

With Valverde favouring a more vibrant and younger midfield, the highly-talented Rakitic has increasingly seen himself being sidelined this season.  

Out of his seven appearances in the league this season, six of them have been from the bench.

An excellent passer and reader of the game, Rakitic’s pass success has gone down from 91.4% last season to 84.6% this season, according to Whoscored. A clear reflection that the 31-year old’s performances have deteriorated over time.

Also, Arthur has repaid Valverde’s faith in him by scoring two goals and assisting three from seven appearances this season. Meanwhile, De Jong has cemented his place as a regular by featuring in 11 of Barcelona’s 12 league matches.

Ivan Rakitic during his initial days with Barcelona.
Ivan Rakitic during his initial days with Barcelona. (Getty Images)

Verdict

With the youngsters doing a good job in the middle for the La Liga leaders, Valverde seems more reliant on his younger crop of players.

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As he builds a team with the club’s future in mind, Rakitic clearly seems to be one of the first among the old guard to be shown the exit door.

Also with performances on the pitch going according to plan, offloading their former champion sooner than later would be an honourable choice considering the trophies he has won for them.

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Written by Siddharth Suresh

Hello folks, I am an avid football follower who likes to read, report and play the world's most beautiful game. My other hobbies include writing poetry, traveling and exploring new cultures.
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