• Rakitic says he will not leave Barca before his contract expires
  • His contract is due to expire at the end of 2020-21 season
  • He has started in just 10 La Liga games this campaign

FC Barcelona star midfielder Ivan Rakitic said he has no plans of leaving Nou Camp before his current contract expires next year.

Rakitic, who has played 21 La Liga matches this season but has not started in all the games, went on to add he does not understand why the team’s coach has not regarded him as a regular player in the Catalan side.

The Croatian vice captain moved from Seville to Barcelona for a $19m deal in 2014 and ever since that, he has made 299 appearances for the La Liga champions across all competitions and has bagged as many as four La Liga trophies and a Champions League title among other laurels.

However, the arrival of Frenkie de Jong from Ajax last summer has pushed Rakitic down the pecking order at Nou Camp. There have been reports Barcelona are planning to cash in on the midfielder before he becomes a free agent at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

Ivan Rakitic Bacelona 2015
Midfielder Ivan Rakitic, right, notched a brace to lead Barcelona to Champions League Group E victory over BATE Tuesday. Reuters

In an interview with Tportal, Rakitic revealed he has no intention of moving away from Barcelona this season. “I spoke to the club ten or 15 days ago and the conclusion is that I have nothing to talk about because I have a contract until the summer of 2021 with Barcelona and it is the entity I want to be in and play with. ... Furthermore, my wife and my daughters are good in the city. There is no reason to think about other things. I am training well and I am sure that Rakitic will be in Barcelona longer,” the former FC Basel player added.

Rakitic, who has started in just 10 La Liga matches this season, insisted even though he has not been given a lot of play time over the last year or so, he still has a lot of “respect” for Barcelona’s current coach, Quique Setien.

“It is not nice when you do not play, especially when you do not understand why and they do not explain the reasons. But I respect the coach's decisions. I am in a team sport, not individual,” the 31-year-old midfielder said.