PSG preparing for Ivan Rakitic's arrival from Barcelona
In the back offices at PSG, preparations are already underway for Rakitic's presentation. A video is being put together, publicity is ready to welcome the player to Paris.
One of the surprise inclusion in Ernesto Valverde's squad list for this afternoon's away trip to Osasuna was Ivan Rakitic. Just 24 hours previously, the Croatian midfielder's plan was to prepare his departure from Barcelona because he was the only player from the squad who was willing to negotiate PSG as part of the operation to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou. So much so that the Ligue 1 club has also put together a video for his presentation, and prepared the artwork to announce his arrival on social media. As far as PSG were concerned, Rakitic was on his way to Paris.
But something appears to have happened at the last minute - probably related to Barça's rejection of PSG's counter-offer and so it was aurprising that Rakitic travelled with the squad to Pamplona yesterday. It could be the coach exercising his authority until a deal is made official or a warning to PSG to not take it for granted that Rakitic will be joining them whatever the outcome of the Neymar saga.
We will see later at El Sadar if Rakitic plays any part in the match. He has not featured in the starting XI in any of Barça's league games so far Liga and he didn't play at all last weekend against Betis - for the first time since Valverde arrived at the club.