Ernesto Valverde admits “he does not know” if Ivan Rakitic will stay at Barcelona beyond the current transfer window.
The Croatian international’s current deal at the Camp Nou runs through until the summer of 2021 although Barca signed midfielders Arturo Vidal and Arthur Melo last year and have landed Frenkie De Jong from Ajax this summer.
“He is very important for us,” Valverde responded when quizzed over Rakitic’s future, as cited by Marca.
“This is for what he contributes to the team and even in this pre-season he has scored two goals. His work rate is there.
“Right now I do not know if he will be staying with us. Of course, I count on him as I have done with all of the players that we have. In principle, nothing makes me think that I won't be able to count on him.”
Rakitic explained last month, in quotes cited by Marca: “It's a situation that I'm used to since I'm here, last year the same thing happened to me.
“I talked to the club and the Coach and the idea is the same, and my idea is to continue with Barça, I'm open, but my idea is very clear and my intention is to continue here and continue enjoying because being here because I have more years left on my contract.”