'I'm not a sack of potatoes': Ivan Rakitic demands respect from Barcelona

Rakitic has been at Barca since 2014 but has fallen out of contention this campaign due to the arrival of Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong

Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic has publicly criticised Barcelona for their recent treatment of him and said he is ready to leave the club if he is not respected.

Rakitic, 32, has been at Barca since 2014 but has fallen out of contention this campaign due to the arrival of Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong. He has only started 10 of Barca's 27 La Liga matches.

"I understand the situation but I'm not a sack of potatoes who you can do anything with," Rakitic told Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

"I want to be somewhere I feel wanted and respected. If that's here then I'll be delighted but if it's somewhere else then I'll be the one who decides where, not anyone else."

Rakitic confirmed that he refused to move to Paris Saint-Germain last year as part of a deal to bring Neymar back to the Camp Nou.

He also spoke of his disappointment at losing his place in the team this season, but said he wishes to see out his contract, which ends in 2021 and would mean Barca would not be able to earn a transfer fee from his departure.

"Last year was the best of the six I've had here and I was annoyed with how I was treated. I was very surprised and I didn't understand it. The results have not been the best and I haven't played much, that is why I felt hurt," he said.

"I had a very strange first half of the season, it was very uncomfortable and surprising for me. But I hope I can finish this last year of my contract."

Rakitic's criticism of Barcelona follows that of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez who both slammed the club for their handling of the wage reduction process after the players agreed to a 70 per cent deferral of their salaries.

The club was then thrown into further turmoil on Friday after six board directors resigned, criticising the clubs's handling of a social media scandal and the financial implications of the coronavirus crisis.

Barcelona are currently top of the standings in La Liga which is suspended indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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