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July 23, 2019

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Rakitic unmoved by rumors

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic accepts his days at the Nou Camp may be numbered, but for now he is concentrating on preparing for next season with the Spanish champion.

After the arrival of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax and 31-year-old Sergio Busquets signing a new five-year deal last year, Barcelona’s midfield is looking a little crowded and the Croat could be the man shipped out this summer.

Speaking ahead of his side’s preseason match against Chelsea in Japan today, Rakitic admitted it was awkward talking about his future but he was used to the rumors.

“Does it bother me? No, it doesn’t, I have to understand soccer in general works like that,” Rakitic said at a news conference in Tokyo yesterday when asked about any impending move. “In some way it also fills me with pride because if other teams ask about me it is because I am doing things really well.”

Rakitic said he is simply trying to enjoy his soccer at Barcelona as the club seeks to put disappointments of recent seasons behind it.

“I think the club has other things to do right now other than speak about my issues,” the 31-year-old said.

Coach Ernesto Valverde has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to attacking midfielders at his disposal after the arrival of Antoine Griezmann from La Liga rival Atletico Madrid this month.

Griezmann joins a loaded attacking group that also includes Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Phillipe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.

French international Griezmann, who is likely to play his first game in a Barcelona shirt today, accepts that the Catalans play a different brand of football to Atletico but he is confident he can adjust.




 

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