Spanish Football Expert & Columnist @GuillemBalague
Barcelona door always open to players like Philippe Coutinho, says Ivan Rakitic
Last Updated: 22/12/17 11:56pm
Ivan Rakitic says Barcelona's players would be delighted if Philippe Coutinho were to join them from Liverpool, insisting their "doors are open to good players".
Coutinho has been heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp, though Liverpool resisted Barcelona's advances in the summer, turning down a £113m bid for the Brazilian.
The midfielder's future remains uncertain, and Liverpool have not given their price for the 25-year-old, despite reports in the Catalan press.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports' Guillem Balague, Barcelona midfielder Rakitic said a player of Coutinho's calibre joining the club would be "perfect".
"Every good player is welcome. So we have to say that the doors are open for every good player, and Coutinho is a good player. With all respect to his club Liverpool, and his fans, we would be really happy if he came," Rakitic said.
"But with all the respect if he stayed at Liverpool we would wish him all the luck in the world. We have to think about the players that are already here, I think we have a really good team.
"We have to do it together. If there is an opportunity to do it with Coutinho, or another player, perfect."
Barcelona are 11 points ahead of Real Madrid going into Saturday's Clasico, live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Mix from 11.30am.
Rakitic insists the game at the Bernabeu is not like a final, with Atletico Madrid and Valencia hot on their heels in the race for the Liga title.
"We don't think of it like a final. Valencia are close to us, so are Atletico and Sevilla. It is very difficult to play in La Liga, it's not like four or five years ago with just two teams, you have to go at every game 100 per cent," Rakitic added.
"You can't just say we'll get three points in all games and then wait for the Clasico, you have to prepare every game in the best way.
"Of course we know that a lot of people in the world just wait for this game, and we want to finish the year in the best way, but if we get this win it is not done. There are a lot more big, hard games. It's step-by-step."
Super 6 £1m jackpot
Simply predict six correct scores to win Jeff's £1 million. Enter your selections for free here.