Ivan Rakitic has again hinted at an emotional return to Sevilla, in a documentary about his friend Jose Antonio Reyes to be aired in Spain on Wednesday evening.
It’s an open secret that Sevilla would love their former player to return to the club when he leaves Barcelona but any deal this summer would seriously stretch their resources.
But in 2021 the 32-year-old will be out of contract and could go back to Andalusia on a free and Rakitic appears open to a return.
Asked in the Movistar film if he would consider wearing Reyes’ number 10 Sevilla shirt one day, by way of tribute to the Spanish winger who was killed in a car accident in 2019, Rakitic says: ‘If it were possible it would be something very special and I would be proud to be able to pay tribute to my great friend in this way.
‘It would be a nice way of showing that he is missed by wearing his number.’
Rakitic, who has won four leagues and a Champions League at Barcelona as part of an impressive trophy haul since joining in 2014 is one the players Barcelona see as potentially generating them money in the transfer market.
Last season they did their best to sell although the player favours staying in Spain limiting the range of potential suitors.
It’s not the first time he has paid emotional homage to Reyes who wore the 10 shirt in his final seasons at the club.
And it’s not the first time he has displayed huge affection for his previous club.
Speaking at an awards event in Seville last year he as asked about going back to his former club and he joked to reporters: ‘If it was up to my wife we would not go back [to Barcelona]. If the moment arises when we can talk [about a return] I would be delighted.
‘I have always said that if there is one of my ex-clubs that I could go back to it would be Sevilla.
‘I hope it can happen one day but above all I am happy for where the club is at the moment and the results that they are having.
‘From afar it feels me with pride and joy when they are doing well. It would be a dream to wear the shirt again.’
Rakitic was given a special award for services to football in that event organized by ‘El Desmarque’.
Reyes, a former team-mate of Rakitic at Sevilla, was also honoured at the event and Rakitic was in tears when he spoke during his acceptance speech about the Spain international.