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'We would find a place for Messi!' - Rakitic jokes about Barcelona star joining him at Sevilla

08:07 BST 04/09/2020
Lionel Messi Ivan Rakitic Barcelona 2018-19
The 32-year-old has made the return to Sevilla after six years at Barcelona and wants his old team-mate to join him

Ivan Rakitic joked Sevilla could find a place for Lionel Messi if the superstar decided to leave Barcelona.

Rakitic, 32, has returned to Sevilla after a successful six-year spell at Barcelona, where he won four La Liga titles and a Champions League crown among numerous other trophies.

Messi could also sensationally leave Camp Nou after telling the club he wants to activate a clause in his contract that would allow him to make a free transfer, though the club insist that option is no longer valid and La Liga are taking their side. 

But recent developments suggest the six-time Ballon d'Or winner may stay at the Catalan giants after his father, Jorge, had positive talks with president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Rakitic, however, would like to see his old team-mate follow his lead in swapping the Blaugrana jersey for the red and white stripes of Sevilla.

Asked if his new side could land Messi, the midfielder said: "We would find him a place, no problem.

"No, seriously, I think it is nice to see how the club is growing. Always humble. And this is also what is attractive to me.

"I want to work, fight with my team-mates for making Sevilla even bigger. So, fight, work and I am looking forward to start right now."

Rakitic's Sevilla return on the field is set to come on September 24, when the LaLiga club face Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup.

The Croatian midfielder was part of the Barca squad embarrassed 8-2 by Bayern in the Champions League quarter-finals last month.

But Rakitic was unfazed by any suggestions he could get some revenge for that defeat when Sevilla meet the Bundesliga champions in Budapest.

"Big respect for Bayern. Obviously, it will be a very difficult game. We know how strong they are," he said.

"However, I am also aware of them knowing how powerful Sevilla is. So, we will be preparing that game in the best way possible. There is a trophy at stake – a very important trophy.

"We want to compete well and show them we are a great team. If it is a revenge or not… what I want is to win with Sevilla. I can't wait."