Sport reports that Rakitic could look to leave Camp Nou if Barcelona are unwilling to improve his current deal, as petitioned by the Croatian last summer.
Ivan Rakitic is undoubtedly one of the most indispensable players for Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde. But according to Catalan daily Sport, the Croatian international may consider the Camp Nou exit door if the club is not willing to improve the terms of his current contract.
After having been amongst the stand-out players for finalists Croatia at the World Cup in Russia and one of the key figures for Valverde last season, Rakitic returned to pre-season training with a a petition for a review of his current deal.
And while the club told the midfielder they would discuss the matter at the end of this season, Sport claims it has learned that Barcelona sporting director Pep Segura is not willing to offer Rakitic an improvement on his contract, which ends in June 2021.
Around the time of his petition last August, the Croatian was reportedly considering an offer from PSG, but decided to stay on account of Valverde, who, amid the PSG links, said he was "counting on" Rakitic to remain at Camp Nou.
“Ivan is one of the best. He knows how we play and he is committed to the club,” said the Barça coach in a press conference on 24 August. “He is fundamental for our team and I hope he stays."
Following Valverde’s statements and the promise of the club to discuss his contract at the end of the season, it seemed as if the matter was closed. Even just three weeks ago, when asked about the role of Rakitic following Barça’s signing of Ajax midfield starlet Frenkie De Jong, the coach reiterated his comments about the Croatian’s importance to the club.
"Ivan is a very important player for us. He is showing that and has been showing that over the years. There is no doubt in that regard. He is a fundamental player,” he stated.
Previously, Rakitic himself has publically stated he would remain at Barcelona “as long as they fix my contract a little.” But if the club are not willing to do so, as reported by Sport, it could spell the end of Croatian’s time at the Catalan club. And the same newspaper claims that he is already receiving offers from other top clubs in Europe in anticipation of his possible exit from Camp Nou.