Ivan Rakitic Wants Barcelona Pay Rise Following PSG Summer Transfer Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 02: Ivan Rakitic of FC Barcelona gestures during the La Liga 2018-19 match between FC Barcelona and SD Huesca at Camp Nou on 02 September 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images)
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has said he would like a pay rise as part of a new contract at the Camp Nou following a summer of speculation regarding his future. 

Rakitic arrived at Barcelona in 2014 and has become a crucial part of the Blaugrana midfield, helping the team win La Liga three times and the UEFA Champions League.

Following links to Paris Saint-Germain this summer the Croatia playmaker decided to stay in Catalonia and was asked by Mundo Deportivo (h/t Naveen Ullal of Sport Witness) whether he was set for a new contract with the La Liga champions as a result.

"I already have a contract here that is valid for a few more years," said the 30-year-old. "Hopefully, we can extend it. I have a lot of desire. I want to enjoy every training and every game and show that they can have confidence in me."

Rakitic was also asked if he was looking for a boosted salary as part of any fresh terms and whether he's spoken recently with Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu. "Yes, and I hope he calls me again soon," said the former Sevilla man.

Rakitic signed an extension to his Barcelona contract in March 2017, meaning his current deal runs until the summer of 2021. As Ullal noted, the current release clause in his terms is said to be around €125 million (£111 million).

With Andres Iniesta and Paulinho leaving in the summer, more responsibility will be on Rakitic this season in midfield, while he'll face competition for his place following the arrivals of Arturo Vidal and Arthur in the summer.

Three games into the campaign, Rakitic has already offered a reminder of just how effective he can be at the heart of this team:

The Croatian is the man who knits together Barcelona's play when they do venture into the opposition half. Rakitic tends to take the ball from Sergio Busquets and carry it forward, typically offloading possession to the likes of Lionel Messi or Luis Suarez.

Although a big bid from PSG may have been tempting to take for a footballer who is 30 years old, Rakitic would be a challenge to replace, having been a regular presence in a dominant spell for the Blaugrana in domestic competitions.

During the FIFA World Cup, when Rakitic was central to Croatia's run to the final, journalist Jason Pettigrove commented on his tireless effort:

With just short of three years remaining on his contract at Barcelona there isn't huge pressure to get Rakitic tied down to fresh terms at the moment. Still, it'd be understandable if the player wanted some clarity following the summer of speculation.

For now the Croatian will surely be focused on on-field matters, with Barcelona back in action in La Liga on Saturday at Real Sociedad before beginning their UEFA Champions League campaign on Tuesday against PSV Eindhoven.

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