MX23RW : Tuesday, October 16 08:37:43

Ivan Rakitic: 'Andres Iniesta decision must be respected'

Rakitic: 'Iniesta decision must be respected'
© SilverHub
Ivan Rakitic is unsure whether Andres Iniesta will prolong his stay at Barcelona beyond the summer but admits that he hopes to see the Spaniard remain.

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has admitted that he is desperate for Andres Iniesta to stay at the club, but says that his teammate's final decision "will be respected" either way.

The 33-year-old is due to make an announcement in the coming days regarding his future beyond the end of this season, amid strong links with a move to the Chinese Super League.

Iniesta has made 670 appearances for Barca and won 31 trophies in his 16 years in the first-team fold, and Rakitic wants the Spaniard to prolong his Camp Nou stay after playing a key part in the 5-0 Copa del Rey final win over Sevilla.

"I don't know [if he'll stay]," he told reporters. "I hope he doesn't leave. He knows it, I think fans want him with us as much as I want that, but as I always said he has to make a choice, he has to discuss it with his family. His decision will be respected by all of us."

Iniesta was given a standing ovation from both sets of supporters when substituted at the Wanda Metropolitano as Barca completed the first part of a likely domestic double.

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Andres Iniesta in action for Barcelona in December 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Sevilla85121881016
2Barcelona84311991015
3Atletico MadridAtletico843194515
4AlavesAlaves8422118314
5Real Madrid8422127514
6Espanyol8422117414
7Real Valladolid833276112
8Real Betis833256-112
9Real Sociedad83231211111
10Celta Vigo82421312110
11Levante83141214-210
12EibarEibar8314912-310
13Getafe823367-19
14Valencia816167-19
15GironaGirona82331013-39
16Villarreal822467-18
17Athletic Bilbao7142913-47
18Leganes8215712-57
19Rayo Vallecano7124715-85
20Huesca8125718-115

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