FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga
BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 29: Ivan Rakitic of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club at Camp Nou on September 29, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has backed Ernesto Valverde to remain as manager of the club beyond the end of the current season.

Valverde was appointed the manager of the Catalan club back in 2017 following the departure of Luis Enrique.

The former Athletic Bilbao boss led the Blaugrana to a league and cup double in his first season in charge.

Barcelona is also currently top of the La Liga standings halfway through the current season, and that has led to Rakitic throwing his support behind the manager.

“It’s a question for the coach and the club,” Rakitic said when asked about the future of Valverde at the club, according to Marca.

“We are very happy with him and with the entire coaching staff.”

“He’s more likely to continue with us, but we must focus on playing and winning and let them decide what’s best.”

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Speaking about Barcelona’s hard-fought victory over Getafe on Sunday night, after their title challengers had all dropped points, Rakitic said: “The most important thing is that we win our games.”

“The league looks complicated and every game is difficult.”

“I’m sure something will happen between now and the end but today we are happy.”

The Croatia international also praised the efforts of Getafe, saying: “It’s not just against us, they are a strong and compact team.”

“You have to think about what they do and cover yourself well.”

“It’s no coincidence, but we played well and got a good result.”