Ivan Rakitic Aims Barcelona Long Time Stay

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Ivan Rakitic insists he is “very happy” at Barcelona and hopes to still be at the club next season.

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The Croatia midfielder was one of a number of Barca players offered to Paris Saint-Germain last summer as part of a potential deal to bring Neymar back to the Nou Camp.

That deal did not materialise and Rakitic was left annoyed with Barca, reminding them he is “not a sack of potatoes you can do anything with”.

However, he is enjoying playing under Quique Setien, who took over as Barca head coach in January, and he would like to see out his current contract, which runs until June 2021.

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Asked about speculation regarding his future, Rakitic told Sky Germany: “I’ve got used to it a bit. I’ve been here six years now – so I’ve had six years of this sort of thing.

“I have to try to understand it, to remember that football is not just a sport. There is a bit more to it. We know that, we have to try to understand it – you have a laugh about it sometimes.

“The main thing is that I feel good and I am getting good feedback from the manager and the club.

“I’ve still got a contract, when I sign a contract I always intend to fulfil it, and if that cannot happen for any reason, then we’ll sit down together and talk about it.

“But for the moment, I am very happy here and I am thinking about other stuff.”

Spanish clubs returned to training this week ahead of a proposed June restart to the top two divisions.

Barcelona’s first-team players returned to the club’s training ground on Wednesday for medical testing and Rakitic admitted it was strange after so long in isolation.

“Today’s the first day I’ve been out in 60 days,” he said. “I’ve only been 30-40 metres from the house until now.

“We’ve been allowed for, I think, about a week, to go out walking with children for one hour per day, and that was it. So today was the first time I’ve been properly out of the house.

“And it was a funny feeling, a bit uncomfortable, driving with gloves on, with a mask on, pretty weird, the situation is a new one for us, and you do have, well maybe not fear, but you certainly have respect for the situation.

“In football you have to be ready for anything but as I’ve said I don’t want to look too far ahead.

~Ivan Rakitic

“I want to enjoy the moment and get ready to play whenever we are able to, or allowed to.

“We are still in the Champions League – we have the second leg of the last-16 tie against Napoli. In La Liga we are two points ahead of Real Madrid, and we have fair few games still to play.

“We want to try to enjoy that, hopefully enjoy that, and after that we’ll see.”


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