Ivan Rakitic "confident" Lionel Messi will remain at Barcelona

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Ivan Rakitic hopes to see an end to the uncertainty surrounding Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi's contract situation at Camp Nou.

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has admitted that he is "confident" Lionel Messi will remain at the club beyond the end of the season, despite ongoing uncertainty over his contract situation.

The Catalan club have yet to formally announce a new deal for the Argentina international, despite revealing in July that terms had been agreed between both parties.

Messi is therefore open to speak to clubs from January onwards over a free transfer next summer, but teammate Rakitic is hopeful that it is just a matter of time before an official agreement is struck.

"Leo's part of the club's badge. I am confident he will stay. He is not just a very important player, he is more than that, looking at his career, how much he means for Barca," he told reporters.

"I can't say 100% if he will stay or not. That's his decision and you have to respect what each person thinks or does. We know the fans want to see the picture, the handshake; I do, too. I want to play with Leo tomorrow, three years, five years in the future.

"The only thing we can say as teammates is we want him to stay. He has all our support and we enjoy being with him. From what I have read and been told, things are going well. I have confidence in the president and in Leo and I know he wants to be with us."

La Liga president Javier Tebas stressed last week that Messi has already signed a lifetime contract with the Camp Nou club.

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