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Rakitic Planning Sevilla Stay

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Despite suggestions earlier in the year that he would leave Sevilla in the summer and that Liverpool would be suitors, midfielder Ivan Rakitic appears set to extend his stay in Spain.

David Ramos

Despite being one of Liverpool's biggest rumoured targets in January, since the season ended there has been little suggestion the club have renewed their interest in Sevilla's Ivan Rakitic. The 26-year-old Croatian midfielder scored 15 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions this season and was key in Sevilla's successful Europa League campaign. And now, according to the club's sporting director, he wants to stay.

"I’m convinced that Rakitic will stay at Sevilla for a long time," said Ramon Rodriguez, better known in Spanish football circles as Monchi. "The whirlwind of matches has delayed his contract renewal, but the club is not worried. I speak to him every day and know his feelings. He is going to renew his contract, and if he renews it, he’s not going to leave after a week. If he renews it it’s to stay, and I can’t see a scenario where he leaves."

Liverpool fans quickly got their hopes up when the club was linked to Rakitic, seeing a positionally flexible goal scoring midfielder who could anchor a side pushing for domestic and European glory, taking over from Steven Gerrard in the twilight of the captain's career. When the window closed without a deal being reached there were further suggestions Liverpool were all but certain to return for Rakitic in the summer.

Now, though, it appears all sides have moved on. Liverpool's main midfield target remains Adam Lallana; Gerrard has potentially extended his career by changing position; and Sevilla are confident of holding on to their star midfielder for at least a little while longer.