BARCELONA star Ivan Rakitic is reluctant to join Liverpool as Philippe Coutinho’s replacement, reports claim.
Liverpool playmaker Coutinho continues to be linked with a move to Barcelona, despite the Reds’ insistence he is going nowhere.
The Brazil international had a transfer request rejected by the club last week, but Barcelona remain hellbent on making him their Neymar replacement.
In recent weeks, there has been talk that Liverpool are demanding Rakitic to be included in negotiations.
The Croatia international’s Nou Camp career has stagnated in the past year, with former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique regularly overlooking him.
But Spanish outlet Don Balon claims that Rakitic is not willing to consider a move to Anfield.
Barcelona are currently stuck in a rut after Neymar’s departure, struggling to land their top targets and being on the receiving end of a 5-1 aggregate battering to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.
Reports have speculated that some of their senior players are growing increasingly frustrated with life in Catalonia – including Lionel Messi.
But, despite their current crisis, Rakitic is not ready to jump ship.
Don Balon say the Croatia international feels Liverpool are still a long way off challenging the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City for the Premier League title.
With Real Madrid so dominant in Spain, Barcelona need a miracle if they are to regain the La Liga title.
Liverpool, however, bottled an early title charge last season by finishing the campaign 17 points behind champions Chelsea.
And Rakitic feels that, despite Real’s superiority, there is more chance of winning trophies with Barcelona.
Last season, Rakitic scored 8 goals and provided 7 assists in all competitions for the Spanish club. His current contract with Barca will expire in 2021 and it has a mammoth release clause of €125m (FCB).
Speaking yesterday, Barcelona general manager Pep Segura said a deals for Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele were ‘close.’
“We are close to Coutinho and Dembele,” he said on Catalan television station TV3.
“We are discussing their deals but do not know when it will be done.”