La Liga 2016/17: Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic part of WhatsApp group called 'Juventus'
- Ivan Rakitic's future at Barcelona remains uncertain as he has failed to get regular playing time this season.
What’s the story?
The group members include the likes of Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic and winger Marko Pjaca, along with Brazil’s star defender Dani Alves. The trio are currently plying their trade at Juventus, with the latter joining them from Barcelona.
In case you didn’t know...
Rakitic’s father, Luka, and brother, Dejan, are also footballers and it is no surprise that Ivan also decided to choose the sport as his career. He developed an interest in football at a very young age, which saw him spend his early days at his local club Möhlin-Riburg before moving to FC Basel.
After making his way to Basel’s first team, he was signed by Schalke. After an impressive spell in the Bundesliga, Sevilla came calling. His time with the Spanish club saw him score the most goals in his club career at a single club (27).
After joining Barcelona, Rakitic scored in the Champions League final in his debut season to help the La Liga giants win the treble. The match ended 3-1 in the Spanish club’s favour as Luis Suarez and Neymar were also on the scoresheet.
The heart of the matter
Mandzukic, Pjaca and Alves are apparently persuading Rakitic to join the Old Lady at the end of this season as it is unlikely that the Catalan club will sanction the sale of the Croatian international in the mid-season transfer window.
Rakitic has seen his playing time limited at Barcelona and has just one start to his name since the 1-1 draw against Real Madrid in the El Clasico early last December. He has made only 10 league starts this season and has not featured for Luis Enrique in recent times.
Enrique helped his side win the treble in his first year in charge at Camp Nou in the 2014-15 season. However, his position as the club’s manager remains uncertain and his future could also decide Rakitic’s future beyond this season.
Rakitic should not wait until the end of the season before deciding his next move. Should he decide to leave, there will be a lot of suitors apart from just Juventus. He may also attract interest from the Premier League.
The Croatian midfielder should fight for his future at Barcelona as a move to any other club – apart from Real Madrid and Bayern Munich – will be a step down for him.Published 14 Jan 2017, 15:20 IST