Yet the news that new Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde will agree to the sale of Rakitic, depending on whether Barcelona can tempt PSG to sell Marco Verratti, will have pleased the irascible Portuguese manager as he enters his second season with Man Utd. "When you're sitting on the opposition bench you see that you're lacking the players it takes to stop him". Now I can enjoy the way he plays.
Valverde was asked if he would be playing Messi in a more withdrawn role this season and added: "Messi will go on dictating the way we play". "I'm more than happy with the way things stand", said Valverde when pressed on the potential signing of Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti. It's very hard to make it better, because of the high standard of players that we have.
Barcelona are desperate to land Paris Saint-Germain star Marco Verratti, but the Italy global is likely to command a world-record fee. "We know the club we are in and that a lot of players want to come here, we want to have the best players in the world and actually we have them", he said.
Even though PSG issued a hands-off warning to Barcelona regarding the potential transfer of Verratti, Los Cules want to wait until the chance to sign the Italy global arises.
"I really don't care about any player anywhere else", he said, knowing fans will be keen to win back the Spanish League title and indeed the Champions League, both won by their arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez does not expect Neymar to leave the club and insists that there are no offers on the table for the Brazilian.
He replied: "I don't think that is going to happen".