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Barcelona to keep Arturo Vidal, willing to sell Ivan Rakitic - report

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The club have clear plans for the midfield duo

UEFA Champions League”FC Barcelona v PSV”

If Ernesto Valverde decides to stick with a 4-3-3 formation for his third season in charge at Barcelona, there are eight players currently fighting for three spots in midfield: Sergio Busquets, Frenkie De Jong, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Arthur, Carles Aleñá, Rafinha and Riqui Puig, and that’s not even counting Philippe Coutinho and Sergi Roberto who can also play in that area of the pitch.

Simply put, there are just too many players in the middle of the park, and the club want to do something about it. Rafinha seems to be on his way out, the wait continues on an offer for Coutinho and the expectation is that one of the two veterans, Vidal or Rakitic, will also be let go if a good offer comes.

But according to a report from Diario SPORT, you can cross Vidal off the transfer list. There is zero intention from Valverde or his bosses to let the Chilean leave after the revelation that was his debut season at the club. The coaching staff and the players love Vidal’s competitive spirit and the different skills he brings to the table, which is basically a much, much better version of Paulinho that defends better, fights harder and is more talented.

The decision of the Barça board is that Vidal will not be sold under any circumstance. They’ve already had an approach from Inter Milan and the Chinese Super League, but they didn’t even entertain listening to actual offers. Vidal is definitely staying.

The story is different with Rakitic: Valverde and the board are just fine with him on the squad since he’s been a good servant since joining in 2014, but they realize time may be up with the Croatian and will sell him if the right offer comes. They’re not as desperate with Rakitic as they are with Rafinha or Coutinho, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing ever if Ivan is gone.

The truth is one veteran midfielder must go, and it looks like it could be Rakitic. But definitely not King Arturo.