Ivan Rakitic says he’s used to being linked with a move away from Barcelona but is confident of remaining at the Camp Nou beyond this summer.
The 31-year-old Croatian midfielder has been heavily associated with a move away from the Spanish champions. The most recent transfer rumour sees him as part of a deal to bring Neymar back from Paris Saint-Germain.
Since arriving from Sevilla in 2014 he’s become a regular fixture in Barca’s midfield having, to date, made 268 appearances, scoring 34 times and creating a further 37 goals.
Rakitic was a firm favourite of manager Ernesto Valverde last season, missing just four league matches with two of those due to suspension, but the arrival of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax has many feeling his time at the club is coming to an end.
It’s a viewpoint he doesn’t share, however, feeling speculation about him leaving the club is nothing new, and despite what is being reported, he believes the powers that be are on his side.
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“My idea is very clear, I want to stay at Barca. [Transfer talk] is a situation I’m used to. It happened to me last year,” he said.
“I’ve spoken with the club and the coach and we have the same idea, for me to stay at Barca. We’re open to everything, as always, but my intention is to stay. I have two more years on my contract and I want to keep enjoying myself at Barca.
“It doesn’t annoy me. I know that football works like this and it makes me proud because if other teams want me it’s because I’m doing things very well. I’m calm.
“I spoke with the president on various topics and now the club has other things to do before thinking about (my new contract). The president wants to create a good squad so that the fans can enjoy Barca.”
Despite Rakitic’s desire to remain in Catalonia, Valverde told reporters after the club’s 2-1 pre-season defeat to Chelsea on Tuesday, that he is unsure of the Croatian’s future.
He said: “Rakitic has been an important player, I don’t know if it will be this season.
“New players are coming and he will have to earn it.”
Are Rakitic’s Barca days numbered? Five key things to know…
- Rakitic joined Barcelona from Sevilla in 2014 and has gone on to make 268 appearances.
- He’s collected four league titles, four Copa del Rey crowns and one European Cup.
- No one has played more under current Barca boss Ernesto Valverde than Rakitic – 109 games and counting.
- The arrival of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax has many speculating that Rakitic’s time could be soon up.
- He has recently been linked with Manchester United and PSG, but Rakitic says he’s going nowhere, though Valverde has now cast doubt on his future.