Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic ‘never envisaged’ leaving the club despite media speculation linking him with a summer exit.
The Croatian starred in his nation’s run to the World Cup final over summer with media reports linking him with a switch to Paris Saint-Germain.
“I never envisaged that I would be leaving Barcelona despite the talk,” Rakitic said, in quotes carried by El Mundo Deportivo.
“I am very lucky to be able to play for a club as great as Barcelona, to defend the shirt and give my all for it, there was nothing more than realising that.
“My family are all here with me in Barcelona and they are very happy, and I am happy too with my incredible teammates, the fan, the president and the Coach.
“Ernesto (Valverde) has said a lot of words about me and we have had conversations, all of which I am highly appreciative of – he has helped me improve.”