Speculation surrounding Ivan Rakitic’s potential move away from Barcelona could be brought to an end in the forseeable future, as reports in Spain suggest that manager Ernesto Valverde is prepared to extend the midfielder’s contract.
The Croatian has been linked with a move away throughout the season, with Manchester United and Inter named as the primary interested parties, and the impending arrival of Frenkie de Jong to Camp Nou only seemed to add fuel to that fire.
The 31-year-old, however, has been an increasingly central player for Valverde throughout the campaign, scoring or assisting in each of his last four La Liga appearances, and ?AS say the boss is keen to reward his contributions rather than sell up.
Though he is contracted until 2021 as things stand, Valverde is reported to have given ?Barca his ‘blessing’ to offer the player renewed terms, something that would act as a deterrent should another European powerhouse come in with a bid.
It adds further that he is a ‘staunch admirer’ of the player, and it comes after ?quotes from Rakitic earlier this month which suggested he is in no rush to move on.
“I like living in Spain,” he said.
In ?United’s case, it seemed as if the interest was cooling off regardless. It was ?recently reported that Paul Pogba’s reassurances over his future at Old Trafford saw the club step off in their pursuit of Rakitic, feeling perhaps as if there would be no room for both players in their side.
All the reports seem to indicate that the Croatian isn’t entirely likely to move on this summer, though things can change quickly in football.