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By Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden
Juventus are “not interested” in signing Ivan Rakitic in the January transfer window, director Fabio Paratici told ESPN.
The Croatia international has long been linked with a move to Juve but, despite having seen his playing time decrease at Barca this season, Paratici ruled out a winter move.
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“We have a great team and are not looking for reinforcement right now,” Paratici told ESPN. “We are strong in every position.
“Rakitic is a great player but we are not interested.”
It means Rakitic will have to find an alternative destination if he is to leave Barcelona. Sources have told ESPN FC that Barca are open to selling Rakitic are the right price in January.
Meanwhile, Paratici also responded to comments made Barca academy director Patrick Kluivert. The ex-Netherlands forward recently said Matthijs de Ligt regrets choosing a move to Juve over Camp Nou.
“I don’t see it like that,” Paratici said. “I think De Ligt is playing very well and will soon be the best defender in the world.”
Asked about reports of a recent rift between Cristiano Ronaldo and manager Maurizio Sarri, Paratici added that “Juventus are delighted to have the best footballer in the world and possibly in history — something which makes his fans very happy.”
Paratici also disputed suggestions Lionel Messi had already been confirmed as winner of the 2019 Ballon d’Or ahead of Ronaldo.