Enrique downplays Rakitic exit

Enrique downplays Rakitic exit

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has dismissed claims his midfielder Ivan Rakitic is on the verge of a shock move to the Etihad Stadium.

Reports in the 28-year-old's native Croatia have stated a deal is currently being negotiated between his representatives and Manchester City's powerbrokers.

Rakitic was then left out of the Barca squad which faced Villarreal on Sunday evening, further fueling the speculation.

Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List is known for having excellent sources within their national set-up and insist Barca are open to selling the playmaker, who has fallen down the pecking order at Camp Nou this season.

Enrique, however, insisted after his side salvaged a last minute point against Villarreal, courtesy of a Lionel Messi effort: "Rakitic to City? No, only 25 per cent of information is reliable, whether from here or Croatia."

Rakitic has previously spoken of his admiration for City boss Pep Guardiola and the possibility of working under him one day.

The Citizens are a midfielder down after losing Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan to a recent knee cruciate injury for the remainder of the campaign.

It could well be Rakitic's camp have looked into the matter but his £40m price tag would certainly be a big outlay for City this month.