Barcelona’s midfield star, Ivan Rakitic, turned down a shocking move to La Liga rivals Real Madrid in the summer, according to fresh reports in Spain. Los Blancos had tried to sign the Croatian midfielder from Sevilla before he joined Barcelona and were turned down then as well, with Rakitic repeating the sentiment this summer.
According to a report in Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo, Real Madrid made the shocking process of trying to lure the Barcelona player to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer with a view of beefing up their midfield options. A call was made to Rakitic’s representatives through a Real Madrid chief executive, only for Rakitic to say, ‘No, thanks’ and reject the move.
The same report claims that Real Madrid were hoping to entice Rakitic by pouncing on him reportedly being unsettled at the Catalan club. Barcelona signed two midfielders, Denis Suarez and Portuguese star Andre Gomes in the summer, a situation that Real Madrid were tempted to exploit.
However, Rakitic turned down the move immediately, choosing not to follow the footsteps of Luis Figo in crossing the El Clasico divide. Real Madrid were left stymied, with Alvaro Morata being their only significant outlay this summer, which has now left them with a midfield crisis due to several injuries to key personnel.
Rakitic to be rewarded for his loyalty
Having joined Barcelona in the summer of 2014, Ivan Rakitic has quickly become a pivotal member at the heart of Luis Enrique’s Barcelona side. Alongside Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta, Rakitic has become a crucial cog in Barcelona’s midfield with his passing range and high-tempo nature.
Real Madrid were hoping to bring the same qualities to their midfield alongside fellow countryman Luka Modric, and in a curious twist of fate, both midfielders have suffered injuries during the international break. Barcelona confirmed that Rakitic has a tendon injury and is a doubt for the UEFA Champions League tie against Manchester City.
Mundo Deportivo had earlier claimed that Rakitic had also turned down interest from Manchester United, Chelsea and Juventus in the summer. As a result of his loyalty to the club, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu had earlier announced that the Catalan giants would be offering Rakitic a bumper new deal as the Blaugrana hope to secure the Croatian’s services for the foreseeable future.