Ivan Rakitic: I have not spoken with Ernesto Valverde on future

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has not spoken with boss Ernesto Valverde on his future but confirms he wants to stay at the club.

A report in Marca last month claimed that had been a mutual agreement between the midfielder and the Catalan club for a January transfer.

The Croatia international has been an integral part of the club’s midfielder for five years but has featured only sparingly this season and whilst no transfer away has been finalised, it was said to be a formality.

“I have not spoken with Ernesto Valverde,” Rakitic told an interview with Sportske Novosti, as cited by Marca.

“There is nothing to say, I think everything is clear. For me it is important to enjoy football. I am happy to go training in the morning and prepare for the game in the best way possible. In the end, it is the Coach who decides who will play and how often.

“What has changed? I do not know. In the last months I have tried to give my best in each training session and in each match.

“I don't think about anything else apart from Barcelona. Of course, in football you must be prepared for anything, but my idea is to be here. I am very happy and proud to be here.

“Many things have happened that cannot be changed, but my goal is to play and do it in Barcelona. I come to train happy, I am smiling again, and I want to play. I am determined to do everything possible to have the confidence of the club, the coaches, the teammates and the fans.”

A recent report in Diario Sport claimed his days at the Camp Nou are numbered and while Italian side Inter are favourites to land him, Manchester United have also made direct contract for his signature.

Previous reports in the Spanish press say Barcelona boss Valverde – a long-term admirer of the Croatian midfielder – will no longer oppose the sale should the club decide to go down that path.

The Croatian international’s current deal at the Camp Nou runs through until the summer of 2021 although Barca signed midfielders Arturo Vidal and Arthur Melo last year and have landed Frenkie De Jong from Ajax this summer.

Carles Alena and Riqui Puig have also come through the club’s La Masia ranks to add further depth to the central midfield ranks, while Sergi Roberto can also be deployed there.

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