Iniesta adamant Rakitic wants Barcelona stay

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Andres Iniesta is adamant his former Barcelona team-mate Ivan Rakitic wants to stay at Camp Nou despite links with Paris Saint-Germain, Inter and Manchester United.


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Croatia international Rakitic has spent five seasons at Barca following a move from Sevilla in 2014 and has been a key part of the side ever since, making at least 32 La Liga appearances in each campaign.

The midfielder was also a key part of his country’s squad as Croatia reached the World Cup Final for the first time in their history, although they couldn’t go on to win as they were defeated 4-2 by France.

Although his coaches have valued Rakitic’s input, some supporters have questioned whether the 31-year-old merits inclusion in the Barcelona team.


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But in spite of United, Inter and PSG apparently holding an interest in Rakitic, Iniesta is convinced his former colleague has no plans to leave.

“I don’t know if he is untransferable, but I know he is happy and wants to stay at Barca,” Iniesta told reporters in Japan before his Vissel Kobe side face the Blaugrana on Saturday.

“I hope he can [stay at the club] and continue to perform as before. I would be happy for him.”

Rakitic is contracted with the club until June 2021, and has made 268 appearances for the club, scoring 34 goals along the way.

One player strongly linked with a move to Barcelona this summer is Neymar, another former team-mate of Iniesta’s at Camp Nou until he made the switch to PSG in 2017.

The Brazilian scored 105 goals in 186 appearances for the Blaugrana, and has netted 51 goals in 58 games for his current club.

The PSG star is at odds with his employers, who have confirmed he can leave for the right price, and Iniesta is eager to see the Brazilian back with the Spanish champions.

“I have said it many times, for me, as a player he is one of the best there is,” Iniesta added.

“If his signing is going well or badly, that is something the club must conclude.

“They are considerations of the sports management. But as a player, he is one of the best.”

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