Ivan Rakitic Says Barcelona 'Perfect' for Him Amid January Transfer Rumours

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 07: Ivan Rakitic of FC Barcelona in action during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Mallorca at Camp Nou on December 07, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic thinks the club is the "perfect place" for him amid recent speculation regarding a transfer.

The Croatia international has struggled to cement his position in the side this season and has been linked with a possible departure as a result. However, Rakitic has started the last three games for the Blaugrana and impressed at the hub of the team.

After shining in the 5-2 win over Real Mallorca on Saturday, Rakitic was asked about whether he thinks he has a future at the club, per Liam Blackburn of Goal:

"Lots of things have happened in the last few months. Sometimes, things happen that you can't understand, but you have to accept it. It's happened to me. No one gives you anything.

"I want to give my all and if I can play here then I've always said that there's no better place than Barcelona to keep winning trophies, it's the perfect place for me. I want to enjoy myself and try to help the team improve. I'm giving my best and if it can be like it has been in the last few games then that's even better."

The playmaker said recently that he is considering a possible January move, having only started three La Liga games this season. Per Blackburn, Serie A giants Inter Milan and Juventus have both been linked with a possible move for Rakitic.

Barcelona were far too good for their opponents on the night, with a Lionel Messi hat-trick, a Luis Suarez wondergoal and a fine finish from Antoine Griezmann helping them move back to the summit of La Liga:

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Rakitic set up Messi's second goal on the night and kept things ticking over in central midfield for the Blaugrana.

Given the way Barcelona have played with him in the side, it would be harsh to drop Rakitic for some important matches coming up. Spanish football writer Andy West thinks the 31-year-old should have been back into the side sooner:

European football writer Lee Roden thinks the midfielder gets a lot of unfair criticism:

Since moving to Barcelona from Sevilla in 2014, Rakitic has enjoyed success aplenty, helping the team win the UEFA Champions League and four La Liga titles.

His importance to the team appeared to dwindle at the start of the season, though, with summer signing Frenkie de Jong often preferred to the former Schalke man in midfield. But Rakitic has shown in recent encounters he can be a useful player still.

Barcelona have some challenging matches coming up, with trips to Inter Milan and Real Sociedad followed by a Clasico showdown with Real Madrid at the Camp Nou. A player of Rakitic's pedigree should have a role to play in those fixtures.