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Ivan Rakitic plays down talks of Barcelona exit

Ivan Rakitic insists that he is not thinking about leaving Barcelona amid the speculation surrounding his future.

Ivan Rakitic has insisted that he is not thinking about leaving Barcelona as the speculation surrounding the midfielder's future continues to gather pace.

The 31-year-old has struggled to earn regular starts for the Spanish champions during the 2019-20 campaign and will see his contract at Camp Nou expire at the end of next season.

A number of clubs, including Inter Milan and Juventus, have been linked with the Croatia international ahead of the opening of the winter transfer window.

Rakitic has claimed that he does not want to leave Camp Nou, although the 2018 World Cup finalist has hinted that he might be forced to seek pastures new if he struggles to secure regular action.

"The most important question is whether I can play in Barcelona," Rakitic told Sportske Novosti. "If I can play, I am sure that Barcelona is the best place for me. We will see what happens, but I am preparing to contribute as much as possible this year.

"I have been here for five and a half years and have lived my most important days in Barcelona. I am convinced that the best is yet to come.

"I don't think about anything more than Barcelona. Of course, in football you must be prepared for anything, but my idea is to be here. I am very happy and proud to be here. Many things have happened that cannot be changed, but my goal is to play and do it in Barcelona.

"I come to train happy, the smile has returned, and I want to play. I am determined to do everything possible to have the confidence of the club, the coaches, the teammates and the fans."

Rakitic has also been linked with a move to the Premier League over the last few months.

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