BARCELONA

Barcelona: "I've got no reason to leave" says Ivan Rakitic

Barça midfielder Ivan Rakitic will be out of contract at the end of next season and has been linked with a move away from Camp Nou but he has no plans to leave.

Rakitic: Barca and I have nothing to talk about, I've no reason to leave

Ivan Rakitic insists he will not be leaving Barcelona this year, and claims that he and the club recently agreed they had "nothing to talk about" regarding their association. Rakitic joined Barça in 2014 after impressing at Sevilla and, for the most part, he has been a success at Camp Nou. But in the past couple of years he has been a source of frustration for some supporters, who have taken to targeting him with jeers during matches. The 2019-20 campaign has been his trickiest season with the club in terms of regular football, starting just 10 of Barça's 27 league games prior to the coronavirus-enforced suspension.

Rakitic will be able to leave on a free in 2021

With his contract up next year, it had been reported Barça might look to cash in on him while they still can, and his desire to one day return to Sevilla has never been a secret, but he insists he is not considering leaving.

"More or less ever since I've been here, the same situation is always presented and my status is talked about," he told Croatian publication TPortal. "Now everything is clear to me, because 10, 15 days ago we talked very specifically in the club and the agreement is that we have nothing to talk about. I have a contract with Barcelona, and it is a club where I want to be and play, and Barcelona as a city is a nice place for my wife and kids to live, so I have no reason to think about other things. I've been training well these days, I feel good and I'm confident I will be in Barcelona for a while longer."

Rakitic "not a sack of potatoes"

Rakitic was targetted by some fans in April when he appeared to take aim at the Barça hierarchy while making a stand over his future, telling them he would not be dropped like a "sack of potatoes" and that he would decide his own future.

But Rakitic does not want that attitude to suggest he is not willing to find a compromise should the Catalans decide he is not in their plans.

"By that I just meant that I could be talked to about everything, because I never want anything by force," he added. "I want to deserve everything, let everything be as it should be, because I always go the fair way, I don't hide anything. I think I showed my character with that. I will never have a problem with that if we sit down, talk, find a common solution. I signed my contract with the desire to fulfil it to the end, but if for any reason it cannot be fulfilled or someone else has different thoughts, you just need to sit down and talk. And that was my only thought when I said that, but now it's all settled, so I'm calm and happy, and I train more than ever."

Mallorca next

Barcelona are set to resume their 2019-20 season at Mallorca on Saturday, more than three months after their last LaLiga game.