Luis Enrique frustrated by media reports linking Barcelona star with Premier League switch
Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has quickly dismissed reports that Ivan Rakitic is on the verge of joining Manchester City, despite leaving the Croatian out of his matchday squad for Sunday night’s 1-1 draw with Villarreal.
Croatian media spun the stories with the belief that Rakitic’s future at Barcelona appeared in doubt, but Enrique sounded adamant last night he wouldn’t leave Barcelona for City during the January transfer window.
“Rakitic’s absence has nothing to do with that story,” Enrique insisted to Movistar+ after the match.
“Media reports, be they from Spain or Croatia, are not even a quarter trustworthy. It is my job to pick the squad and the first XI, that’s what I have to do.”
However, Enrique did not explain why Rakitic was left out of the squad.
But Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre also dismissed concerns on Sunday evening as he backed up his head coach: “We are negotiating Rakitic’s renewal. We love him not only as a player but also as a person. He has a contract and we want him to stay.”
These reports are simply something we need to get used to while Pep Guardiola is City manager. Every Barcelona and Bayern Munich player will be linked with a move to the Etihad, so sit tight and take each story with a pinch of salt.
It will be interesting to see when Rakitic finds himself back in the Barcelona side.