Rakitic dreaming of career-long Barcelona stay

By Dom Farrell 24 January 2017 369
Rakitic dreaming of career-long Barcelona stay

Ivan Rakitic dreams of staying at Barcelona "for ever" as negotiations over a new contract for the Croatia midfielder at Camp Nou continue.

Rakitic was reportedly the subject of interest from Manchester City earlier this month after losing his place in head coach Luis Enrique's first XI.

But he was rapturously applauded on as a substitute at Camp Nou during recent wins over Athletic Bilbao and Las Palmas before regaining his place in the starting line-up for the Copa del Rey trip to Real Sociedad and Sunday's win at Eibar.

Luis Enrique saw Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets respectively suffer injuries during the latter matches, making Rakitic's role during the immediate defence of their domestic double all the more important.

Speaking after he was named best team player at Mundo Deportivo's annual awards gala, the 28-year-old former Sevilla man said: "My dream is to stay here for ever.

"I have not been able to refuse any offer because we are talking. I trust [that I will] stay.

"I trust the president [Josep Maria Bartomeu] and my representative Arturo Canales, who are talking.

"I want to help get all the titles we want, which are many for the best club in the world."

Rakitic took on Busquet's organisational duties in midfield after the Spain international suffered ankle ligament damage against Eibar and saw Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all on target in a 4-0 triumph.

"The three players we have up front seem to be from another world," he added.

"We enjoy them a lot and if others can do something to improve it we do it."

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Dom Farrell