Ivan Rakitic has played down rumors he will leave Barcelona in the summer transfer window and has said he is “convinced” he will remain at the Camp Nou “for a while longer.”
The 32-year-old midfielder has been linked with a departure from the club for some time but told Silvijo Skrlec at Croatian outlet Tportal that he intends to see out his contract that runs until summer 2021.
“Now everything is clear to me, because 10, 15 days ago we talked very specifically to the club and the agreement is that we have nothing to talk about – I have a contract with Barcelona, and it is a club where I want to be and play. Also, it’s nice to live to live in Barcelona as a city with my wife and kids so I have no reason to think about other things. I’ve been training well these days, I feel good and I’m convinced that I will be in Barcelona for a while longer.”
Rakitic has fallen out of favor at the Camp Nou this season following the arrival of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax and is no longer guaranteed a place in the starting XI. He had started only 10 of the club’s 27 La Liga games in 2019-20 before the campaign was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rakitic Wants Respect From Barcelona
The midfielder has previously called for respect from Barcelona amid speculation the club want to offload him. He told Roger Torello at Mundo Deportivo in April that he is “not a sack of potatoes who you can do anything with.”
In the same interview, Rakitic confirmed he had refused to move to Paris Saint-Germain in 2019 as part of a deal that would have seen Neymar return to the Camp Nou from the Ligue 1 side.
Barcelona are willing to sell Rakitic in the summer for a fee of €20 million ($22.5m), according to Ben Hayward at the Evening Standard. The midfielder is keen to stay in Spain and could return to former club Sevilla.
What Next For Rakitic?
Rakitic’s contract at Barcelona expires next summer which means the club will be eager to sell him to avoid seeing him walk away as a free agent at the end of next season.
The Catalan giants also need to raise money quickly to balance the books. Barca must find €70m ($79m) before the end of the month, according to Marca’s Ramiro Aldunate.
Rakitic has made it clear he would be happy to head back to Sevilla if he were to leave the Camp Nou before his contract expires. He told El Desmarque: “My dream would be to wear the Sevilla shirt again at some point in the future.”
Yet Sevilla have so far played down a Rakitic return. Sporting director Monchi told Muchodeporte in May there is “absolutely nothing” in rumors linking the midfielder with a return to the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.