BARCELONA

Valverde puts brakes on any Rakitic summer exit plans

With the backing of the Basque coach, rumours of the Croatian player making a Camp Nou exit this summer are abating.

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Valverde puts brakes on any Rakitic summer exit plans

Recent rumours suggesting that Ivan Rakitic was set to leave FC Barcelona this summer are starting to lose steam. The Croatian midfielder has publicly declared his interests to remain with the Catalan side (his current deal expires in June 2021) and he boasts a staunch admirer at the club in head coach Ernesto Valverde.

The Croatian is one of Valverde's most used players and in the games overseen by "El Txinguirri" on the Camp Nou bench featuring in 97, ahead of the likes of Sergio Busquets (92) and Leo Messi with 91. Both Rakitic and Busquets have played in 42 games for Barça this season in all competitions.

Ivan Rakitic of Croatia

There was speculation that the acquisition of Ajax's Frenkie De Jong may have been a factor in adding to Rakitic exit speculation but Valverde has given his blessing that the club offer the Croatian an extension to his current deal.