We won't force Rakitic to stay, say Sevilla

The club have made it clear they will not keep any player who has set their heart on a transfer but insist the Croatia star will only leave for the right price

Sevilla president Jose Castro insists his team “have no need to sell” Ivan Rakitic – but says that he will not stand in his way should the midfielder ask to leave.

The Croatia international has been linked with a number of top European sides after an inspired 2013-14 season in which he led Sevilla to fifth place in La Liga and Europa League glory.

The 26-year-old’s father revealed this week that La Liga’s top three – Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona – had put offers on the table for his son’s services.

While Castro admits he would not force Rakitic to stay, he claims the playmaker has had a significant contract offer from Sevilla and that the club do not need to cash in on their star man.

“The last offer we made to Rakitic was a significant percentage of our total budget,” Castro told Sevilla’s television channel.

“We made this offer because we want him to sign.

“We want to make sure that he stays, not that he leaves. We want the team to be strong and for all Sevillistas to enjoy it.

“We won’t make anyone stay who doesn’t want to be at Sevilla. Anyone who wants to walk through the door can do it, though it has to be at our price.

“We are relaxed and we have no need to sell.”

Rakitic, whose current deal with Sevilla expires in 2015, is currently preparing for the World Cup with Niko Kovac’s Croatia squad.

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