Luis Enrique bashes Rakitic to Manchester City link

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Ivan Rakitic was not in the Barcelona squad on Sunday that drew Villareal, but manager Luis Enrique insists that it wasn’t because the Croatian is on his way out.

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Reports out of Croatia have suggested that Rakitic is on the verge of completing a move to join Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, but Enrique was quick to dismiss the link.

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“Rakitic’s absence has nothing to do with that story,” Enrique said after Sunday’s match. “Media reports, be they from Spain or Croatia, are not even a quarter trustworthy.”

Additionally, Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre added to Enrique’s sentiment, saying the club has no intentions to part ways with Rakitic.

“We are negotiating Rakitic’s renewal,” he claimed. “We love him not only as a player but also as a person. He has a contract and we want him to stay.”

Rakitic, 28, is in his third season at the Camp Nou and has scored 14 goals in La Liga matches during that span. The Croatian has appeared in 12 of Barca’s 17 league matches this season.