Fabio Paratici Says Juventus Won't Sign Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic in January

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 14, 2019

GRANADA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 21: Ivan Rakitic of FC Barcelona looks on during the warm up prior to the Liga match between Granada CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on September 21, 2019 in Granada, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)
Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has said the club won't make an attempt to sign Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic during the January transfer window. 

Paratici, 47, was recently named the best director in Italy for the third time, and he replied to a question from a reporter regarding speculation of Juve's interest in Rakitic, per Football Italia:

“Our squad is complete and we consider it to be one of the best in Europe. 

"We're happy with our players. I'd rule out the arrival of a full-back. With (Mario) Mandzukic, we chose a quiet time for him [to leave] but a move to Qatar did not materialise so he stayed with us.

"Now we'll see what happens in January."

Like Rakitic, Croatia team-mate Mario Mandzukic was strongly linked with a transfer this past summer but remained in his current setting—the Juventus veteran is yet to play a minute under Maurizio Sarri.

Rakitic has also seen a severe drop in game time this season and played just 156 minutes in La Liga. Instead, summer arrival Frenkie de Jong, Sergi Roberto and Arthur have each taken precedence alongside Sergio Busquets.

Midfield has been an area of uncertainty for manager Ernesto Valverde, who has endeavoured to discover his best combination amid a rocky start to Barcelona's campaign.

Sportswriter Andy West highlighted the extent of his options in the middle of the park, though there's no guarantee Rakitich's fight for playing time would be any easier in Turin:

Bianconeri signing Adrien Rabiot is still settling into the team following a transfer and injury in the summer, while Sarri has capable options in Miralem Pjanic, Aaron Ramsey, Blaise Matuidi, Emre Can and others.

Rakitic is eager to maintain a certain standard in his club career and recently told 24sata (h/t Sport):

"I don't know what will come now. It's tough because I want to play and not just be part of the team. I will do everything possible to change my situation. I have two years left on my deal and there's no better place to play than Barcelona, the best club in the world, but I need to play and not just enjoy walks around the city and the beach." 

Despite the alterations made to Barca's midfield pecking order, broadcaster Deji Faremi said Rakitic should still be a priority as part of the club's XI:

The promotion of youngsters like Ansu Fati, 16, and Carles Perez, 21, has only increased the competition for places in Barcelona's first-team squad, and Rakitic is one of those who has suffered so far this term.

A winter exit from the Camp Nou could be on the cards unless his involvement improves in the months to come, though Juventus looks an unlikely destination following Paratici's remarks.

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