No, Ivan Rakitic is not leaving Barcelona.
Recently, the attacking midfielder has been at the center of controversy when a media outfit from Croatia reported that he is on his way to Manchester City.
The club’s manager, Luis Enrique has already denied such stories, stating that not all news is credible.
To date, Rakitic remains a crucial figure in the Barcelona roster and will continue to play until the season ends.
Speculations regarding his alleged departure came when he was replaced during their match against their nemesis, Real Madrid. But it was not until he was dropped during the encounter against Villarreal that rumours regarding his impending transfer spread like wild fire.
But just recently, Barca’s Vice President, Jordi Mestre shared that the squad is “delighted” with Rakitic’s decision to “negotiate his renewal.”
His agent, Arturo Canales also released a statement confirming his stay at Camp Nou
“’Ivan is very happy at Barcelona, where he has been tremendously successful and has a contract with the club until 2019,” he explained.
The team’s President, Josep Maria Bartomeu also stressed that they will not be selling players, unless the concerned party requests to leave.
Indeed, it is true that Rakitic’s playing time has been limited. The ex-Sevilla captain needs to compete with the likes of Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez and Rafinha.
When he suffered an ankle injury, it is only logical to see him spend more time in the sidelines. But such factor has been overlooked by observers and therefore, led to insinuations that he will be leaving.
On the other hand, it cannot be denied that Pep Guardiola’s interest on him has its bearings.
ESPN FC’s Jonathan Smith describes Rakitic as someone who delivers flexibility into the squad. He also stressed that the Croatia international’s ability to retain the ball readily appeals to Guardiola’s possession-based football.