Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has said he is ‘not a bag of potatoes’ and insisted he would decide his own future.
The Croatian international’s deal runs out at the Camp Nou in the summer of 2021 and his preference is for a return to the Andalusian club, whom he played for before his 2014 switch to Barça.
The 31-year-old has clocked up 298 appearances for Barcelona since his switch from Seville in the summer of 2014 and he has won a plethora of trophies – including four La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey trophies and the 2015 Champions League title.
The Croat has been consistently linked with a move away from the Camp Nou this season, despite the player himself previously stating that he wished to remain at the club.
“I understand the situation, but I am not a bag of potatoes for which you can do anything with,” Rakitic told an interview with El Mundo Deportivo.
“The most important thing for me is that I want to be in a place where I am loved, respected and needed, and where both I and my family feel good.
“If it is here, then that is great but, if not, I will decide my own future.
“I have always said that to play at Barça is the perfect place and I want to enjoy my time here and help my teammates.
“My idea is to end the contract and last year was the best of the six I have had here.”
Rakitic was then asked about the rumours that he would return to Sevilla – whom he captained to the 2014 Europa League title – when his time at the Camp Nou comes to an end.
The player’s wife is a native of Seville – the two met when he joined the club from Schalke – and he is said to be keen to return the city.
“I have a special affection for Seville and directly to the city, I have my family there. I have always said that it would be a great dream to wear that shirt again,” Rakitic added.
“Everyone knows it, but it is not my own decision, if I want it or not, there are more things that would need to happen.
“Monchi and everyone in Seville has my phone number, they haven’t called me yet and recently it was my birthday and Monchi didn’t call me!”
A report in Cadena Ser from February, it was said that the Blaugrana were keen to sell the midfielder in January.
Rakitic has struggled for first-team minutes this season – initially under Ernesto Valverde and now Quique Setien – with Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Arthur Melo, Arturo Vidal, Riqui Puig and Sergi Roberto among the players selected in those positions.