Valverde has suggested that Rakitic could leave the Spanish champions before the transfer window slams shut at the start of September.
The boss admits “he does not know” if Ivan Rakitic will stay at Barcelona beyond the current transfer window.
Midfielder Ivan Rakitic‘s current deal at the Camp Nou runs through until the summer of 2021, despite the fact that Barcelona signed midfielders Arturo Vidal and Arthur Melo last year and have landed Frenkie De Jong from Ajax this summer. After suggestions of having limited playing time, the Croatian may now be coming to the end of his Blaugrana career.
The Croatia international, who scored the opening goal against Juventus in the 2015/16 Champions League final victory, was linked with a move to Manchester United ahead of the closing of the English market, while Inter Milan have also been credited with a summer interest.
“He is very important for us,” Valverde responded when quizzed over Rakitic’s future, as cited by Marca. “This is for what he contributes to the team and even in this pre-season he has scored two goals. His work rate is there.
“Right now I do not know if he will be staying with us. Of course, I count on him as I have done with all of the players that we have.”
It is thought that the 31-year-old may be used in an exchange deal in Barca’s bid to bring Neymar back to Spain, while there is also reported interest from Italy. However, Rakitic recently played down the suggestions that he could leave Spain.
“My plan is to continue with Barcelona,” Rakitic said at a press conference before the beginning of this summer’s pre-season campaign. “I talked to the club and the coach, but my intention is very clear. I want to continue and continue enjoying my football because I have more years left on my contract.”