Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitić has claimed that the support of his manager Ernesto Valverde was a key factor in his decision to turn down a big-money move to Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the summer.
In an interview with Sport, the 30-year-old discussed the importance of Valverde in his decision to stay at the Camp Nou, claiming: "He knows that I'm someone he can always count on. If I needed to break one of my bones out on the pitch, I'd do it and wouldn't complain if this helped the coaching staff and my team. To have this trust in everyone is the most important thing.
Of course the coach helps: for a player, to have the backing of your coach is vital."
Rakitić also candidly discussed his hopes to sign a new contract, hinting that while there's 'no rush' it's something he and the club have spoken about.
He continued: "The most important thing is that he (the club president) knows I'm at home here. It's true that a wage increase is never bad, let's be honest. But not for the sake of it, I'd like that moment to arrive in time and because I deserve it and because they really believe in me."
"It's something that I've already spoken to the club about, before and during the World Cup. It'll arrive soon but there's no rush. I know that the club looks after its players well and I'm confident the 'presi' will call me soon."
Meanwhile, Ajax youngster Frenkie de Jong has revealed he won't join Barcelona this season, following his side's progression to the group stages of the Champions League. However, the 21-year-old has reiterated that he is keen to play for the Catalan giants in the future, and is hopeful of drawing the club in the competition to test his skills against their top players.