Rakitic, who spent six seasons at Barcelona, was sold to Sevilla in the summer. The Catalan club had to jettison some of its senior players owing to financial losses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lionel Messi requested a move away from Barcelona in the summer after disagreeing with the direction the club was going. The Argentine was particularly angered by how Barcelona treated his teammate and friend Luis Suarez, who was sold to Atletico Madrid in the summer.
When asked about the embattled Messi's future at Barcelona, Rakitic said:
"I think this has to be his decision, and he needs to do what is best for him and the club. I think all of the people at FC Barcelona and fans of the club are still behind him, so he has to be clear with himself, with his family, the club and all of the fans. I’m sure he will make the right decision for sure. I hope that he has a lot of years left and that he decides what is best for him and for FC Barcelona. I had six amazing years playing with him at FC Barcelona, and it’s really amazing to have played with him and been on the same team, so hopefully he can stay (for) many more years at FC Barcelona."
Lionel Messi's time at Barcelona looks to be over
After his failed move away from the club in the summer, Messi is all set to leave Barcelona in the summer. PSG have been named as a front-runner for the Argentine's services, with some outlets claiming that a deal is imminent.
PSG forward Neymar stated last month that he would love to link up with his former teammate Lionel Messi in Paris. That started a whirlwind of transfer rumours about the Argentine.
Lionel Messi and Neymar famously spent four highly successful years at Barcelona together before the Brazilian made his world-record move to Paris in 2017. The duo looks set to be reunited in Paris, with a move for Lionel Messi said to be in the works for next season.
Barcelona, however, will look to do everything they can to keep Lionel Messi at the club. The Blaugrana, who have their election for a new club president next year, will hope that a change in the front office would persuade Lionel Messi to stay on at the club.Published 18 Dec 2020, 12:29 IST