Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has said he is not thinking about the future of Ivan Rakitic after multiple rumours.
The Croatian midfielder has been linked with a summer exit from the Camp Nou, but Valverde chose not to touch on those reports in his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Rayo Vallecano on Saturday evening.
“I’m not thinking about whether Rakitic is here or not next season. Not him, or anybody else,” he told reporters.
ith Ernesto Valverde’s side in the Copa del Rey final after beating Real Madrid and sitting with a commanding lead over Atletico Madrid – it is safe to say the Spanish coach can afford to take a risk and rest a number of his more senior players on Saturday.
Lionel Messi could well sit this one out, whilst the likes of Kevin-Prince Boateng and Malcom could be handed rare starts.
A win would keep Barca ahead of Atletico Madrid by seven points at least, but that could be ten if Atleti do not beat Leganes earlier in the day.
Rayo arrive at the Camp Nou in desperate form, sitting second from bottom and they know that nothing more than a shock win will only do.
Clement Lenglet is suspended for the home side, which will see Samuel Umtiti feature at centre-back after a long spell injured. Sergio Busquets could be rested ahead of the Champions League, which would see Ivan Rakitic anchor the midfield. Philippe Coutinho could come into the attack, as Ernesto Valverde tries to juggle all competitions.