Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic admits he was blown away by the glowing praise he recently received from former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
The Croatia international’s future remains the subject of intense speculation and is said to be among a group of 11 players Barcelona are considering selling this summer. Rakitic, who has two years remaining on his current contract, has maintained he wants to stay at Barcelona but his current club are looking to raise funds having already committed to the €75m purchase of Frenkie de Jong and are in the driving seat to complete the signing of his current Ajax teammate Matthijs de Ligt.
United are said to be monitoring the 31-year-old’s situation amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Paul Pogba’s future and was recently described by Mourinho as ‘one of the most underrated players in the world’.
‘He’s a fantastic player at every level. He does the defensive work on the right side to compensate for [Lionel] Messi. He runs miles. ‘In ball possession he’s fantastic, he’s simple, he’s effective. He’s one of the most underrated players.
So I want to finish by saying that because normally we speak about the big names and for me Rakitic [is at that level]. Rakitic has now responded, saying: ‘It was amazing to hear that. When I heard it, I said that not even my Dad would not say that. ‘He is one of the greatest coaches in the world and gave me a lot of confidence and motivation. I want to see Mourinho in football soon.’