Barcelona, July 17: With Barcelona looking forward to an eventful summer transfer window having already started with their business, the future of Croatian midfield maestro Ivan Rakitic has been a hot topic for discussion.
The last season was quite a disappointing one for Barcelona as they missed out to arch rivals Real Madrid for the La Liga title and to add to their woes the los Blancos went all the way to clinch the UEFA Champions League.
With a new manager in Ernesto Valverde on board, the Catalans are looking to come back strong this season and a much-talked about revamp in the squad looks to be happening.
Despite doing really well since signing for Barcelona from Sevilla back in 2014, many saw Rakitic as a weak link in the Barcelona side last campaign and the Croat, therefore, was rumoured to be shown the exit door this summer.
However, according to recent reports, Barcelona will have to think twice before shipping out Rakitic as the heartthrob of the club Lionel Messi is a close friend of Rakitic and wants the 29-year-old to be kept at all costs.
Spanish media outlet Don Balon claimed that Barca had offered the midfielder to Paris St-Germain as bait for Italian midfield sensation Marco Verratti. But, Messi isn't impressed and is determined to keep the Croatian at the Nou Camp.
It's suggested Barca chiefs have been open to Messi's request and have assured him Rakitic will not be sold.
We all know how high Messi is regarded at Camp Nou considering what he has given to the club and with him wanting Rakitic to remain, it seems that the board will have to listen to the Argentine great.
There is still a long time before the transfer window slams shut and we have to wait and see if Rakitic can survive that long.