There is no negotiation with Barca for Rakitic, says Sevilla director Monchi

Sevilla have not been in touch with Barcelona over a possible transfer deal for Ivan Rakitic, according to director of football Monchi, who says the market is too “risky” amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Rakitic emerged as one of the top midfielders in Spanish football during his three-and-a-half-year stay at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, attracting attention from a number of top European clubs in the process.

The Croatia international ended up signing for Barca in the summer of 2014 and has since helped the club win 13 major trophies, including four Liga titles and the Champions League.

He has, however, fallen down the squad pecking order after Frenkie de Jong’s arrival at Camp Nou from Ajax ahead of the 2019-20 season, and has been restricted to just 10 league starts in the last eight months.

It has been suggested that Barca will try to cash in Rakitic before his current contract expires in 2021 amid reported interest from Manchester United, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain.

A potential return to Sevilla has also been mooted, with the 32-year-old admitting earlier this month that it would be a “dream” for him to wear the famous white shirt again.

However, Monchi says such a move is “unrealistic” at the moment, given the precarious nature of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen football temporarily shut down across all major European leagues.

Sevilla’s sporting director told Eldesmarque: “It is not known what will happen to soccer, therefore we are not going to spend money when we do not know what income we will have. We will not do it yet, neither in purchases nor in renewals.

“There is no negotiation with Barcelona for Rakitic. I have read Ivan’s wish to return to Sevilla one day. And I thank him for his words and his interest in returning, but right now talking about the market is risky. You can’t say we’re interested in anyone because it’s unrealistic.

“Sevilla is not making movements for anyone. We have not made movements because we do not know how the pandemic will end. Talking about paying a transfer fee today does not go with the path we are on. I would gain adulation [from the fans] if I say that we are working on bringing in players, but it is not the case.”