They say all good things come to an end and that certainly appears to be the case now with Ivan Rakitic and Barcelona.
The Croatian has been a fine servant for the Blaugrana, particularly in his first few years, but there’s no doubt whatsoever now that he is surplus to requirements.
That airborne volley against Tottenham Hotspur seems a lifetime ago.
Once again, the club might have treated him a little better than the cast off he’s been made to feel over the last few months.
Perhaps this style of managing players out of the club is the new normal. Far better though to have shaken hands, thanked him for a job mostly well done, and sent him on his way to pastures new and a final contract in professional football.
However, that doesn’t seem to be the way that Barca do things these days.
He could’ve left earlier of course, if rumours are to be believed. Potentially used as a makeweight in the Neymar deal, he might well have had his feet under the table at Paris Saint-Germain by now, but his refusal to go has seen him amble through this season as a spare part.
For those that say that he made his bed and therefore has to lie in it, consider the player’s own professional pride. His belief that he can still do it at the top level.
Clearly, he isn’t the player he once was, but he shouldn’t be lambasted for wanted to extend his career with the Blaugranes as much as possible.
In any event, he seems to be fast approaching the end of his career at the Camp Nou, but who is going to take him off of Barca’s hands at the price the club want?
With the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that values will have gone down significantly in some cases, the midfielder will arguably be cheaper than he was six months ago.
That said, only Inter Milan have previously shown any real interest and it’s thought that if there’s to be a makeweight in the Lautaro Martinez deal, it will be Arturo Vidal rather than Rakitic.
It really wouldn’t be a surprise to see him leave on a free just to get him off of the books.
With Arthur and Frenkie de Jong having to remain as starters once the season starts again in earnest, and upon the completion of those 11 games, there isn’t room for Raki.
I hope he’s allowed to go with his head held high and not under a cloud of dog’s abuse from the masses.