Big Clubs after Rakitić, but He Confirms Loyalty to Barcelona

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

According to media reports on Tuesday, Croatian footballer Ivan Rakitić could see a move to England.

After his stellar performance at the World Cup in Russia last year, which earned him the Repsol Extraordinary Trophy at the Mundo Deportivo Gala awards on Monday night in Spain, many major European clubs have shown interest in the Barcelona midfielder. After PSG showed interest for him last year, Premier League giants Chelsea are now in the game, reports HRT on January 29, 2019. 

This news dominated today’s Sport, the Catalan sports journal traditionally close to Barca. Last week, Barcelona brought over 21-year-old midfielder Frenkie de Jong from Ajax, after which the Spanish media speculated that the Croatian representative could be left without a place in the team and therefore leave the club.

The Catalans wrote that Chelsea recently inquired about Barcelona’s willingness to release Rakitić because they already confirmed the purchase of Frenkie de Jong for 75 million euro, and the likely arrival of Adrien Rabiot, who would create an unprecedented crowd in the midfield.

“That’s a good question for the coach or president. People who know me know I’m here only to play. I am facing this peacefully and with the great desire to play. I’m 30 years old and I’m having the best moments of my career,” Rakitić said.

He also recalled the arrival of the young Dutch player.

“I congratulate him on his arrival at the best club in the world, and I congratulate the club on a great reinforcement,” said the Croatian midfielder.

Rakitić, however, has said he wanted a new deal with Barcelona and rejected media speculation about a possible departure from the Spanish champions.

“I want to be here, and if my contract could be renewed, I would stay longer. I am very happy here, everyone knows it, especially the president of the club,” said the 30-year-old in Barcelona at the Mundo Deportivo event. 

Rakitić came to Barcelona in the summer of 2014, when he was a standard member of the hit composition. In August after the World Cup, where he became finalists with Croatia, Barcelona extended his contract. Rakitić’s current contract expires in summer 2021. President of the club, Josep Maria Bartomeu, said that the club was unable to increase his salary this season due to a limited budget, but would consider it at the beginning of next season.

Rakitić can play two more, if not three more seasons at a top club, and it’s no surprise that the interest of PSG and Chelsea appeared in the last few months.

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