Barcelona star Rakitic sends strong hint over return to Sevilla

Ivan Rakitic said Sevilla sporting director Monchi, who signed him in 2011, still has his phone number as he hinted at a return to the club.

Monchi and Sevilla have my phone number, says Rakitic

Ivan Rakitic said he has "a special affection" for Sevilla as he hinted that he could make a return to Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan amid uncertainty over his future at Barcelona.

Barcelona star says 'call me maybe'

The 32-year-old midfielder spent three-and-a-half years at Sevilla before his €18m switch to Camp Nou in June 2014.

His Barcelona contract expires at the end of the 2020-21 season (and financial concerns may open the door) and Manchester United, Juventus, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked with the Croatia international.

Rakitic has made just 10 LaLiga starts for the Blaugrana this season and, in an interview with Mundo Deportivo, he suggested he would be open to rejoining Sevilla.

"I have always said that it would be a great dream to wear that shirt again," said Rakitic.

"Everyone knows it, but it is not my own decision, whether I want it or not.

"There are other factors involved."

Rakitic joined Sevilla in a €2.5m transfer from Schalke in January 2011 – a move orchestrated by Sevilla sporting director Monchi.

Underlining the strength of his connection with the club, where he won the Europa League in 2013-14, Rakitic said he still has family in Seville and joked that he did not receive a phone call from Monchi when he turned 32 on March 10.

"Monchi and everyone in Seville have my phone number. They haven't called me yet and recently it was my birthday," said Rakitic.

"I have a special affection for Seville, and directly to the city - I have my family there."