Ivan Rakitic plans Barca stay

Ivan Rakitic Barcelona

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Midfield playmaker Ivan Rakitic has rejected rumours he could be set to leave Barcelona in the summer.

The impending arrival of Ajax’s 21-year-old Netherlands international Frenkie de Jong at Camp Nou at the end of the current campaign has increased speculation Rakitic could be offloaded when the transfer window reopens.

The likes of Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked with the Croatian in the past and this week reports emerged in Italy suggesting Inter Milan have opened discussions with Barcelona – and are close to reaching an agreement.

The 30-year-old former Sevilla man has now stressed he isn’t interested in leaving the Catalan giants and expects to see out his contract with Barcelona.

“I have three more years on my contract, I want to stay here,” he said. “I’m full of pride that big clubs ask for me, if they do. I only see myself at Barcelona, it makes me laugh a little when I have my morning coffee.”

Barcelona are 5.50 to win the Champions League outright but have some work to do to reach the quarter-finals after a 0-0 draw in Lyon in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Barca are 1.20 to qualify for the last eight and 1.25 to beat Lyon when the two sides meet at Camp Nou on March 13. A Lyon win is available at 11.00 and a draw is 6.50.

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