Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde promised Ivan Rakitic that he would play every game for Barcelona this season, after the midfielder rejected a €90million transfer to PSG in the summer.
Sport are reporting that the Croatian rejected a move to French champions during the summer transfer window, who offered a mega pay package in an attempt to lure the player to the Parc des Princes.
Rakitic apparently seriously considered the move, but was convinced to stay in Catalonia by his manager. In an effort to ensure he remained at the club, the manager entered into what has become known at the club as the 'PSG pact'. The pact would dictate that Rakitic be selected for every match in which he was available.
So far this season, he has started 15 matches for the Spanish champions, coming off the bench once. The only game he played no part in was the Copa Del Rey first leg victory over lower tier side Cultural Leonesa.
Rakitic is now set for a spell on the sidelines, having suffered a hamstring strain on international duty last week. This has led many to question the wisdom behind Valverde's promise, with the 30 year-old playing minutes far beyond what many would consider appropriate for a player of his age.
To be fair, Rakitic has enjoyed an incredible slate of clean health during his time at the Camp Nou, making at least 50 appearances in each of his four seasons at the club.
Valverde was clearly desperate to hold on to the player this summer, with Andres Iniesta having already left the club to move to Japan.
Still, the logic behind blindly selecting a player regardless of form or fatigue is something that should surely be questioned. The manager faced criticism last season for the lack of rotation in his squad, and will assuredly face some harsh questioning from the media further down the line should Rakitic suffer any serious injuries.