Barcelona transfer News: Ivan Rakitic decides his next club, Blaugrana president opens up about their interest in Pogba and more - April 8, 2019
Hello and welcome to the Barcelona transfer news and rumours of the day! Here are the top stories of the day surrounding the Blaugrana!
Ivan Rakitic is being persuaded to feature in Italian top flight
According to reports, Ivan Rakitic can be on his way out from Barcelona with Juventus being his destination in the summer. The Croatian has played a pivotal role in Ernesto Valverde's side and remains one of the most used players but the coach in his team.
The 31-year-old also played a crucial role beside Luka Modric in Croatia's sensational run in the World Cup.
But there has been massive speculation regarding his future as Barcelona are not keen to offer Rakitic a new deal, despite the player's desire to stay with the Catalan giants.
According to reports in Italian media outlet, Rakitic has already reached an agreement with Juventus whereas Spanish outlet Sports claim that the Croatian midfielder already has suitors in Italy.
In a recent interview, Barcelona president indicated that Rakitic will stay at the club in the coming season.
"We want our players to be happy and Rakitic is one of the most important players at Barcelona," he said,
"The manager has a lot of faith in him. However we must ensure that we retain the right balance of wages and we will see at the end of the season what happens with him."
The arrival of Ajax prodigy Frenkie De Jong among players like Philippe Coutinho, Arthur and Sergio Busquets would only increase the competition for Rakitic. It is likely that the Croatian chooses another club if Barcelona fails to extend his stay with the Catalan giants.
Barcelona president on Pogba
Blaugrana president Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed that they did not had the means to compete with Manchester United for the signing of Paul Pogba back in 2016. Barcelona held meetings with Pogba's agent Mino Raiola in 2015, reaching an agreement that helped the Catalan giants to match any offer for the former Juventus star.
But the Red Devils decided to splash the cash on the French midfielder and Pogba was soon on his way to Old Trafford. Both Manchester United and Barcelona will meet at Old Trafford on Wednesday night for the first leg of the Quarter Finals in the Champions League.
"In the summer of 2015, Paul Pogba was playing in Turin and we simply told Juve that, if one day they decide to sell the player, we would be interested," Barca president Bartomeu said in an interview with ESPN.
"When they sold the player, they told us what the offer would have to be and we couldn't afford that amount of money at the time."
"So he went to United, and he's making them better as a team because he's one of the stars of the world of football right now."
Former England player urges Manchester United not to sign Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho recently ruled out his exit from Barcelona, claiming that returning to England is not in his plans. Yet the unsettled midfielder is continuously being linked with a move away from the Catalan giants.
Philippe Coutinho arrived at Spain with huge expectations as he became the most expensive signing in the rich history of the Blaugrana.
Despite making a solid start, Coutinho has endured tough times lately. Ernesto Valverde has endlessly kept his faith on the Brazilian midfielder but Coutinho has not been able to replicate his form this season and looked seemingly not in-sync with Barcelona's style of play.
Former England midfielder Danny Murphy urged not to sign the Barcelona star but instead focus on defensive reinforcements.
In an interview with Daily Mail as quoted by Metro, he said:
"I’ll be interested to see what impact Philippe Coutinho has [in Barcelona’s Champions League quarter-final against Manchester United]."
"Coutinho has been linked with a move to United because his transfer from Liverpool hasn’t worked out as well as expected."
"My view is United have more pressing priorities than the Brazilian, namely a midfield playmaker to finally replace Michael Carrick and a defensive leader in the mould of Virgil van Dijk – maybe Toby Alderweireld."
With reports emerging from Spain that Coutinho wants an exit from Catalan giants, his destination remains to be seen if he moves out.