Football

Ivan Rakitic would ‘love’ Antoine Griezmann at Barcelona

Barcelona have confirmed Ivan Rakitic has been diagnosed with a hamstring injury.

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic said he would “love” to play alongside Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann at Camp Nou.

Griezmann has announced his plan to leave Atletico after five years, with LaLiga champions Barca emerging as the favourites to sign the French World Cup-winning forward.

The 28-year-old turned down a move to Barca last year but Rakitic would relish the opportunity to team up with Griezmann.

“He is a top-level player, [among] the best in the world, and of course I would love to have Griezmann on my team,” Rakitic told Mundo Deportivo.

“He is a great professional who has won almost everything and that surely can add to any team.”

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Rakitic’s future is also uncertain amid links with Serie A side Inter and Premier League giants Manchester United.

The 31-year-old has won four LaLiga titles – including back-to-back – and the Champions League since arriving from fellow Spanish side Sevilla in 2014.

But, with Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong set to join in 2019-20, Barca are reportedly open to selling Croatia international Rakitic.

Rakitic, however, dismissed the speculation by saying: “I cannot explain where this information comes from.

“I have great respect for all the teams, and Inter is a very important club that I faced this year in the Champions League.

“Some of my national team team-mates play for them, but I am right now where I want to be. If they are thinking of me, it is because my performances are positive, but I am happy at Barcelona. My family is also very well and I have no other thoughts.”

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