Rakitic agreed to return to Sevilla from Barca for an initial fee of just €1.5 million, signing a four-year contract with Julen Lopetegui’s side.

Ivan signed a four-year deal with Sevilla

Ivan Rakitic insists Barcelona remains “the best option for all players”. Still, he admits he doesn’t know if Lionel Messi will leave the club. Rakitic agreed to return to Sevilla from Barca for an initial fee of just €1.5 million. He signed a four-year contract with Julen Lopetegui’s side. His departure is overshadowed by the news that Messi also wants to leave the Camp Nou, having said so much to the club last week. His father and agent Jorge Messi were scheduled to meet with president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Wednesday to reach an amicable exit agreement. Rakitic says each player must decide their future but suggested that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner might be a better fit by staying. “The first alternative and the best option for all players is always Barça,” he told reporters. “Then, each player must make their own choice.”

Rakitic’s first option is to be at Barca

“For me, the first choice would always be to be at Barça. Each player has to do their analysis, and I believed it was my moment. Messi and the other players will do, I don’t know, and you have to ask them. I’ve spoken with the board of directors, and we are all satisfied. And I am convinced that everyone will do their analysis and do their best for all parties. I respect each player’s decision and have already said that these are decisions that everyone must make”. Messi has told the club that he wants to leave in the wake of Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich. Barca ended 2019-20 without a major trophy. They have experienced a notable setback since Rakitic’s first season in 2014-15 when they won the treble under Luis Enrique.

However, Rakitic doesn’t think it is necessarily the end of an era of success. “I didn’t say anything about the end of the cycle, only that I always analyze everything, and the situation came to start thinking differently,” he said. “This is not the end of an era. After six years, it was not easy for me to leave. I am very grateful for every detail and I wouldn’t say I like to talk about the end of an era. I think every player should think about when the moment comes for them to leave. So that moment came for me, nothing more.”