Rakitic desperate for Iniesta to stay
It is looking increasingly likely that Andres Iniesta will call time on his decorated Barcelona career, a prospect the Barça midfielder is dreading.
Ivan Rakitic is desperate for Andrés Iniesta to quash speculation over his Barcelona future and commit to remaining at the club where he has established himself as "one of the greatest players in history".
The Spain stalwart has enjoyed a stunning career at Camp Nou, winning eight LaLiga titles and four Champions League medals among a remarkable list of honours.
But, after emerging from the club's youth ranks and spending 16 years in the first-team fold, Iniesta is reportedly on the brink of a move, with Chinese Super League side Chongqing Lifan tipped as the 33-year-old's next destination.
Speaking after Barca's 5-0 Copa del Rey final triumph over Sevilla, in which Iniesta scored the fourth goal, Rakitic expressed his desire to see his team-mate stick around.
"One of the greatest"
Asked if he knew what Iniesta's decision might be, the Croatia international said: "I don't know, I hope he doesn't [leave].
"He knows it, I think fans want him with us as much as I want that, but as I always said he has to make a choice, he has to discuss it with his family. His decision will be respected by all of us."
Iniesta was substituted late on at the Wanda Metropolitano, where he received a rousing ovation from both sets of fans.
Rakitic added: "I think he deserved that moment, when even Sevilla's fans cheered him, not just for [this] match, but for everything he did in his career.
"He's one of the greatest players in history."
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