Barcelona Reportedly Agree to Improved Deal with Ivan Rakitic Amid PSG Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2018

Ivan Rakitic of FC Barcelona during the Trofeu Joan Gamper match between FC Barcelona and Boca Juniors at the Camp Nou stadium on August 15, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Barcelona have reportedly agreed to offer Ivan Rakitic lucrative new terms on his contract to keep him at the club amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain. 

According to Marca's Luis F. Rojo, Barca have moved to ward off interest from the Parisian outfit, despite Rakitic putting pen to paper on an extension last year, and it seems he'll receive a pay rise as part of their bid to keep him.

The Croatian is said to want to stay put at the Camp Nou, so PSG's only option if they're determined to sign him this summer is to meet his €125 million (£112 million) buyout clause.

Rakitic has been a key player for Barca since he arrived in 2014, helping them win three La Liga titles, four Copa del Reys and the UEFA Champions League in that time, making over 200 appearances in the process.

As Rojo noted, his value has increased further still after he helped Croatia reach the final of the FIFA World Cup earlier this summer.

Football writer Jason Pettigrove was impressed by his ability to perform in the final after a gruelling season:

Jason Pettigrove @jasonpettigrove

Next time a player says they’re tired, show them the 2018 #WorldCupFinal tape and tell them to watch @ivanrakitic in his 71st game of the season. Machine.

The midfielder is an excellent all-rounder in the centre of the park, equally capable of contributing at both ends, as Sport's Andrew Gaffney noted:

Andrew Gaffney @GaffneyVLC

@paul_wetherall @tomas_hill I'd argue that Modric is now finally getting the recognition he deserves (although you could argue he deserves more) but Rakitic's importance at Barcelona is often undervalued/appreciated. He's such a workhorse who does everything (def/att) to a high level.

Given what he can do, Grup 14's Rafael Hernandez believes he might also shine away from the Camp Nou:

Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117

Rakitic would absolutely light up the Premier League if he played for any of the top six clubs.

Because of his incredible work rate, he has slightly restrained his attacking impulses during his time at Barcelona in order to better serve the team's needs, doing even more running than normal to allow the likes of Lionel Messi to do what they do best further forward.

In that sense, the 30-year-old perhaps hasn't quite fulfilled his true potential at the Camp Nou, but there's no doubting his usefulness to the side.

He could make a superb capture for PSG, but he'd be a tremendous loss to the Blaugrana if he were to leave, so cementing his future at the club is excellent business for Barca.