Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has revealed he would be open to a return to Sevilla one day but also expressed a desire to stay with the Blaugrana.
The 31-year-old joined Barcelona from Sevilla in 2014 and over the years became a key player for Catalan club, helping them to four La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey wins and Champions League glory.
However, this season under Ernesto Valverde, Rakitic has had to make do with a fringe role, playing just 456 minutes across his 13 appearances in all competitions, averaging 35 minutes per match.
Will Rakitic leave Barcelona? Five things to know…
- Rakitic has played 281 games for Barcelona since joining in 2014.
- However, he has been restricted just 456 minutes this season.
- As a result, Rakitic is being linked with a move away from Barcelona.
- Manchester United are among the clubs touted with interest.
- But Rakitic has expressed his desire to stay at Barcelona, or seal a “dream” return to Sevilla.
In his place, Barcelona have opted for a midfield duo of Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets, also bringing in Arthur when a trio is needed.
Just three of Rakitic’s 13 appearances this season have come from the start, with the Croatian completing his first full 90 minutes of the campaign in Barcelona’s recent 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid, in place of the suspended Busquets.
Rakitic’s lack of playing time has seen him being linked with a move away from Barcelona, first in the summer and once again as we edge closer to the January transfer window.
One of the teams linked with Rakitic has been Premier League side Manchester United, who have struggled to field a strong midfield due to injuries and subpar performances.
But were Rakitic to leave Barcelona, the Croatian has his eye set on a dream return to Sevilla.
“If the moment arises when we can talk [about a return] I would be delighted,” he told reporters.
“I have always said that if there is one of my ex-clubs that I could go back to it would be Sevilla.
“I hope it can happen one day but above all, I am happy for where the club is at the moment and the results that they are having.
“From afar it feels me with pride and joy when they are doing well. It would be a dream to wear the shirt again.”
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
Rakitic: My idea is to stay at Barcelona
Although Rakitic expressed his dreams of a return to Sevilla, the Croatian still has his eyes set on staying with Barcelona if he can.
Since joining in 2014 Rakitic has made 281 appearances across all competitions, scoring 34 goals, playing a variety of midfield roles from defensive to attacking or even on the wings.
“You never know what can happen,” he added.
“My idea is to stay at Barcelona. What I want above all is to play and I think I have a lot to offer.
“If I can play then there is no better place to do it than in Barcelona.”