Rakitic close to signing Sevilla extension, claims sporting director

Monchi says he expects the Croatian star to remain at the Spanish club along with Alberto Moreno and coach Unai Emery
Sevilla are close to agreeing a contract extension for star player Ivan Rakitic, according to sporting director Monchi.

The 26-year-old has been a key player for the Spanish side since he joined from Schalke three years ago and his excellent performances have seen him linked to the likes of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool.

However, the sporting director says the midfielder won't be departing the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this summer and will instead renew his deal with the club, while he is also confident that Alberto Moreno will remain with the side into next season.

"The deal is almost done and I'm not worried about interest from Atletico or Madrid," the Monchi said. "Rakitic wants to spend many years at Sevilla.

"Alberto is a fundamental part of the team. We have no need to sell and we want to enjoy these players."

Sevilla are in the Europa League semi-final, where they have been drawn alongside league rivals Valencia, and are also in with a chance of finishing in a Champions League spot in La Liga. And the 45-year-old says he didn't expect the club to achieve this kind of success so soon.

"The project started with great enthusiasm but we did not expect it to reach this level so soon. We cannot compare this side with the team of Juande Ramos. Sevilla are rebuilding with players who are very hungry.

"It had long been decided that our ideal coach for this project was Unai Emery. We have not discussed it but he will continue in the job."