Rakitic warns Barcelona: I'm not here to enjoy walks around the city

By Sports Desk October 09, 2019

Ivan Rakitic has suggested he could look to leave Barcelona if he does not regain his first-team place, insisting he is not prepared to "just enjoy walks around the city and the beach".

The midfielder was heavily linked with a move away from Camp Nou in the previous transfer window as the Catalans sought to build up funds for a possible bid for Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

Rakitic was reportedly offered to PSG as part of a proposed Neymar deal, while Juventus are also said to have been interested, with Cristiano Ronaldo rumoured to have tried to convince the Croatia international to move to Turin.

Rakitic maintained he had no desire to leave Barca, but he has become a peripheral figure under Ernesto Valverde this season, playing just 186 minutes in all competitions.

"I don't know what will come now," Rakitic said, according to 24sata. "It's tough because I want to play and not just be part of the team.

"I will do everything possible to change my situation. I have two years left on my deal and there's no better place to play than Barcelona, the best club in the world, but I need to play and not just enjoy walks around the city and the beach."

Rakitic says he has spoken with decision-makers at Barca over his future, with the club aware he had received offers from elsewhere and decided to turn them down.

He was given a rousing reception by fans when he came on in the 4-0 LaLiga win over former club Sevilla on Sunday, but he says even the backing of the supporters does not make up for being out of the starting line-up.

"I spoke with people at the club. Everyone knew I had other options. I want to fight so that the team see me ready to deliver on the pitch," he said.

"I want to thank the fans for the affection they showed me this weekend, but if nothing changed, we will have to sit down and talk about my situation again."

Related items

  • Jordan 0-1 Australia: Socceroos stay perfect thanks to Taggart strike Jordan 0-1 Australia: Socceroos stay perfect thanks to Taggart strike

    Australia made it four wins from four in the second round of World Cup qualifying as Adam Taggart secured a 1-0 win away to Jordan.

    The Suwon Bluewings striker scored the only goal of the game after 13 minutes in Amman to put the Socceroos five points clear at the top of Group B.

    Graham Arnold's men were given a scare in the second half, most notably when Tareq Khattab headed wide from close range, but they held firm to take a significant step towards claiming the automatic qualifying spot for round three.

    Australia went ahead from their first shot of the match, with Taggart running on to Jackson Irvine's throughball and finishing past the onrushing Amer Shafi.

    Irvine spurned a good chance for a second when he side-footed over the bar after Aaron Mooy's corner was flicked on at the right-hand post.

    The Socceroos were fairly comfortable until the break but suddenly came under pressure early in the second half, with Mousa Suleiman shooting narrowly wide and Mat Ryan making a good block to deny Yaseen Al Bakhit from a tight angle.

    Khattab then spurned a glorious chance to equalise, heading wide of the left-hand post when left completely unmarked by a static Australia defence.

    Ryan produced a brilliant save to keep out Hamza Al-Dardoor's header before Al Bakhit shot straight at the keeper in injury time, as Jordan suffered their first Group B defeat and missed out on the chance to leapfrog Australia at the top.

    What does it mean? Socceroos bounding clear

    Victory puts Australia five points clear of Jordan at the top of Group B, with a perfect 12-point return.

    They are firmly on course to secure a place in the next phase of qualifying ahead of their meeting with Kuwait in March.

    Clinical Taggart the difference

    This was far from the free-scoring Australia that dismantled Chinese Taipei 7-1 last month, but Taggart made no mistake with his one goalscoring opportunity, and he completed all four of his attempted passes before being taken off 20 minutes from time.

    Khattab miss costly

    Khattab was caught out for the goal by Irvine's fine throughball and missed the best of Jordan's chances to equalise in the second half..

    What's next?

    Australia's next scheduled outing is a home qualifier against Kuwait on March 25. Jordan are in action on November 19 at home to Chinese Taipei.

  • Only Messi and Ronaldo are playing at Lewandowski's level - Werner Only Messi and Ronaldo are playing at Lewandowski's level - Werner

    Timo Werner acknowledges he has little hope of outscoring Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga this season, as the Bayern Munich forward's form can only be matched by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

    RB Leipzig striker Werner has scored an impressive 11 league goals so far in 2019-20, yet he lags behind the remarkable Lewandowski.

    The Bayern and Poland superstar has struck 16 times in the Bundesliga and leads the way among players in Europe's top leagues this season, with 23 goals in 18 games in all competitions – including in each top-flight and Champions League match.

    Indeed, Werner believes only all-time greats Messi and Ronaldo can reach the extraordinary standards set by Lewandowski.

    "It's hard [to be top-scorer]," Werner told a news conference on Thursday.

    "When you score two goals against Hertha Berlin and then watch the game evening game, having scored four or three goals less than Robert Lewandowski this season, and he scores twice against Borussia Dortmund...

    "Against whom is he not going to score? That's very hard.

    "How he is playing at the moment, maybe only one or two players on the planet are on this level. That's the category of Messi and Ronaldo."

    Werner was speaking alongside Germany team-mate Joshua Kimmich on international duty.

    The duo each came through the Stuttgart academy before moving on to Leipzig, but Werner claimed he was not discussing a next move with Bayern's Kimmich, despite repeated talk of him switching to the Allianz Arena.

    "We don't really talk about it at all," he said. "It was also a coincidence that I came to Leipzig when he was there. I don't imitate everything that Joshua Kimmich does.

    "If he goes to Real Madrid, I'm not going to Real Madrid also. Leipzig was the perfect step for me as well as for him.

    "He took the step to Bayern Munich relatively early, which was also a good step. Now I'm still a player at Leipzig. That was the right step for me.

    "I don't know what the future will bring. But I won't imitate Joshua and go wherever he is."

  • RB Leipzig captain Orban out until 2020 RB Leipzig captain Orban out until 2020

    RB Leipzig captain Willi Orban has been ruled out until 2020 due to a knee injury, the Bundesliga club have confirmed.

    The 27-year-old has undergone an arthroscopy to correct a problem and will be sidelined until after the mid-season break.

    Orban is set to miss the league matches with Cologne, Paderborn, Hoffenheim, Fortuna Dusseldorf, Borussia Dortmund and Augsburg.

    He will also be unavailable for the Champions League games against Benfica and Lyon, with Leipzig top of Group G on nine points from four matches.

    The Hungary defender has made 14 appearances in all competitions for Julian Nagelsmann's side this season, scoring once.

    Leipzig, who are four points behind leaders Borussia Monchengladbach in the table, begin the second half of the Bundesliga campaign at home to Union Berlin on January 18.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.