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Ivan Rakitic edging closer to the Barcelona exit door

Those Inter Milan rumors just won’t go away

Granada CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Ivan Rakitic has been a regular in the football gossip columns in 2019, and the speculation he might leave Barcelona is simply refusing to go away.

The Croatia international has seen his status at the club slip this season. He’s gone from being a guaranteed starter to being a bench-warmer and the rumors of a Camp Nou departure continue to flow.

Saturday brought a fresh batch of gossip about Rakitic, with Sport reporting more interest from Inter Milan.

They report that Barcelona and Inter started Rakitic negotiations last week and reckon the two clubs “have a good relationship and will look for something that works for both parties.”

Barcelona reportedly value Rakitic at €35 million although they may struggle to reach that fee given he’s out of contract in summer 2021, has lost his place in the team and will turn 32 in March.

AS are reporting that “all signs point to a January exit” for Rakitic, mainly due to his lack of game time this season. They highlight how he’s only played 36 minutes in the Champions League in 2019-20 and a total of 167 minutes in La Liga.

Meanwhile, Rakitic’s stance regarding his future at the club seems to have mellowed too recently. In May he played down Inter rumors saying they were a “great team” but “I’m where I want to be” in an interview with Mundo Deportivo.

SOCCER: SEP 28 La Liga - FC Barcelona at Getafe CF Photo by Carlos Sanchez Martinez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Yet when his future was broached again at the start of this month Rakitic told Croatian outlet 24sata that he was finding it tough on the bench and that “I need to play and not just enjoy walks around the city and the beach.”

Rakitic’s days as a guaranteed starter at Barca look over with Frenkie de Jong, Arthur and Sergio Busquets having emerged as Ernesto Valverde’s preferred midfield trio. It therefore looks like Rakitic will have to get used to his bit-part role for now, and a January move may suit both club and player if a decent offer arrives.

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