Valverde denies benching Rakitic amidst PSG transfer speculations
- Ivan Rakitic was benched for Osasuna clash.
- Ernesto Valverde denies it has anything to do with potential Neymar swap.
- The decision was a purely tactical one, the Spanish boss admits.
It's safe to assume Ernesto Valverde will be one happy camper when European transfer window finally shuts down, shutting away all Neymar rumours for good.
For now, though, Ernesto has some explanation to make regarding Ivan Rakitic who sat through Osasuna clash amidst Neymar swap deal rumours. The boss explains his decision to bench the 31-year-old as purely tactical:
"What do you want me to say? Last year he was playing and [Nelson] Semedo was on the bench.
"It's a great question, but it could be about anyone. The market does not influence my decisions at all. If I think he'll come in handy for a game, I'll play him. I choose depending on the game."
According to earlier reports from French outlet L'Equipe, Ivan Rakitic and Jean-Clair Todibo have agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain. Reportedly, Barcelona planned to use the two as exchange coin in a swap deal to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou.
The deal, however, never came through as the 27-year-old Brazilian has reportedly decided to remain at PSG despite all exit rumours.