Ivan Rakitic on Barcelona future: I am not a sack of potatoes

Ivan Rakitic has said he's not a "sack of potatoes" that Barcelona can do whatever they want with, and stressed his desire to finish the contract he has with the club, which runs until 2021.

Sources have told ESPN that Rakitic is one of the players Barca want to cash in on this summer. The Spanish champions had already planned a fire sale to fund moves for Neymar and Lautaro Martinez, but the expected financial repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic will accelerate the need to bring money in.

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Rakitic, 32, has been at Camp Nou for six years but has seen his role reduced this season. Barca rejected a bid of around €90 million for him from Paris Saint-Germain in 2018 but have been open to selling him during the last two transfer windows.

A source told ESPN last summer that he was one of the players offered to PSG as part of an exchange deal for Neymar. He's more recently been linked as a potential makeweight in a move for Inter Milan's Lautaro.

The midfielder remains one of the players Barca believe they can sell for a decent price -- and they want to do so to avoid losing him for nothing next summer -- but he's adamant that if he leaves, it will be for a club of his choosing, not to the highest bidder or in a swap deal.

"I understand the situation but I am not a sack of potatoes to do whatever you want with," Rakitic said in an interview with Mundo Deportivo.

"The most important thing for me is to be in a place where I am wanted, respected and needed. And also where both my family and I feel good. If that is [Barca], perfect, if not, it will be where I decide, not anyone else."

Rakitic said he's not been given an explanation why he went from first-team regular to squad player and that the manner of his descent is what has irked him most.

Despite everything that has happened, it remains his aim to stay at Barca and fight for his place.

"The first half of the season was strange, really uncomfortable and surprising for me," he added. "I have not been given an explanation for why my role changed. The people I have spoken to have not been able to explain why.

"What annoyed me most, more than not playing, was the manner of it all. Last year was the best of my six years here. The manner annoyed me and surprised me a lot. I don't understand it.

"But from that, I have to learn various things and keep improving. Sometimes, things happen that you don't understand, but you have to accept them. I still hope I can end the final year of my contract here.

"If that can't happen, we will sit down and talk, but now the most important thing is to keep in shape and end the season in the best possible manner. After that, everything will be analysed, but my idea is to finish my contract."