The Croatia international admits that the club still feels the absence of his former team-mate.
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitić has revealed that the dressing room at Camp Nou wish Neymar did not leave the club to complete the most expensive transfer in football history, joining Paris Saint-Germain in a €222m move.
Even though the Catalans signed Ousmane Dembélé for €105m as a potential replacement for the Brazilian, the youngster spent most of the first half of the season on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury. Barcelona also signed Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in January for €160m as they try to bolster their offensive options.
However, Valverde’s men appear rather unfazed by Neymar’s departure as they are 9 points clear on top of La Liga and comfortably topped their Champions League group.
Yet, Rakitić reveals that if it was up to him, he would still have Neymar at Camp Nou.
“I’m not going to lie to you, I would prefer that Ney was here with us.” Rakitić told Marca.
“Apart from being a great player, he is a friend and I am very fond of him.
“After he left, we have to continue. Barca is not one, two or five players. It is the biggest club in the world and we have to keep working.
“It would seem better to be able to count on him, but if he is not here, we join forces to be even better.”