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Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde: 'Ivan Rakitic omission was tactical'

Valverde: 'Rakitic omission was tactical'
© Reuters
Manager Ernesto Valverde insists that Ivan Rakitic missed Barcelona's 2-2 draw with Osasuna for tactical reasons, rather than due to a potential exit from Camp Nou.

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has insisted that Ivan Rakitic did not miss Saturday's fixture with Osasuna due to a potential move away from Camp Nou.

The Croatia international has been heavily linked with a transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, potentially as part of a deal which would see Neymar return to the Catalan giants.

However, Valverde has claimed that the 31-year-old was only absent from the 2-2 draw because of tactical reasons.

After the match, Valverde told reporters: "What do you want me to say? Last year he was playing and [Nelson] Semedo was on the bench. The other day he played well and we stuck with the same team, with Sergi Roberto in midfield. We have a lot to choose from.

"It's a great question, but it could be about anyone. The market does not influence my decisions at all. If I think he'll come in handy for a game, I'll play him. I choose depending on the game."

Rakitic still has just under two years remaining on his contract.

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Neymar takes part in a Paris Saint-Germain training session in August 2019
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