Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic says he'd throw himself off a bridge for Luis Enrique
Ivan Rakitic has seen his playing time decrease sharply at Barcelona this season, and negotiations for a new contract have reportedly stalled, leading to rumors that he could be on his way out of the Nou Camp. The 28-year-old midfielder's squashed all the talk of him leaving, though, and he says he's 100 percent committed to Barcelona and his manager Luis Enrique. In fact, he says: "If I had to throw myself off a bridge for him [Enrique], I would.”
Rakitic's contract at Barça doesn't expire until 2019, but Manchester City's struggles in midfield have led to rumors of Pep Guardiola making a move to bring Rakitic to join him in the Premier League. Rakitic even spoke of his desire to play under Guardiola one day when the two teams met earlier in the season, lending credence to the chatter:
“I would like to work with him, of course, or take a coffee with him,” said Rakitic in November.
“I took the No.4 shirt because of Pep. It was a great opportunity and I took it with both hands. He was one of the best in the world."
Still, despite all the talk, Rakitic has maintained his commitment to Barcelona, and especially to his manager.
"Luis Enrique has helped me enormously, giving me confidence straight away, as did my teammates, which enabled me to work calmly," the Croatian international told France Football.
"It was Luis Enrique who asked the club to sign me. If I had to throw myself off a bridge for him, I would do it without hesitation. With just a look or a smile, he gives you the confidence necessary to succeed."
There's no telling what Rakitic's future holds, and there's still a chance he ends up leaving Barcelona, especially with Guardiola desperately looking to strengthen City in January, particularly following Ilkay Gundogan's latest injury.
For now, though, Rakitic seems happy to stay put.