According to a report by Francesc Aguilar, a well-known writer for Mundo Deportivo, Ivan Rakitić is unsettled by Luis Enrique’s recent team selection. The Croatian did not play a single minute in Barcelona’s 4-1 triumph over Espanyol, and it’s become commonplace to see Rakitić dropped or substituted early.
According to Aguilar, sources close to the midfielder says he considers this a sign of disrespect, though he will not publicly say so.
This report comes amid continued stories in the English press that Manchester United are keen on the midfielder. It should be noted that according to the English press, United have been interested in a plethora of Barcelona midfielders over the years (Cesc Fàbregas, Thiago Alcántara, Andrés Iniesta, and Sergi Roberto) but none of those transfers materialized.
Renewal talks are underway, and Aguilar says the Barcelona braintrust is worried that the relationship between the player and the coach is souring. This is alarming to the directors of Barcelona because they have been very satisfied by the work of the Croatian international.
Aguilar says that if Rakitić misses the clash against Hércules in the Copa del Rey, it would be a very worrying sign.
The alternative here is that Lucho is simply resting his player. After all, Rakitić is tasked with a lot of running in the Barcelona system, and he’s looked a bit out of sorts lately.
Maybe a rest can prevent him from becoming jaded, and put him on his route to top form as we get to the business end of the season.
If that’s the case, it seems something the level-headed, calm Rakitić would accept.