Sevilla have re-signed Croatia international 32-year-old midfielder Ivan Rakitic from La Liga rivals Barcelona.
(African Stand) — Sevilla have re-signed Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic from La Liga rivals Barcelona. Europa League champions Sevilla said Rakitic had signed a four-year deal.
Passing a medical yesterday, the Croat rejoins his former club, where Barça signed him from in 2014 following an impressive Europa League win and quality performances at the World Cup in Brazil.
Barça memorably turned down €90mn ($108mn) from PSG for Rakitic in 2018, after the midfielder, alongside Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, had led Croatia to the final at FIFA’s flagship international tournament in Russia.
Just two years later, with a pressing need to reduce payroll costs, the Catalans have offloaded the 32-year-old to the Andalusians for a paltry €1.5m ($1.8mn), though another €9mn ($10.8mn) may be forthcoming in variables.
The Blaugrana announced the move on Tuesday afternoon and thanked the number 4 for his service prior to a farewell ceremony and press conference set to take place tomorrow morning in Spain.
“FC Barcelona publicly expresses its gratitude to Rakitic for his commitment and dedication and wishes him good luck and success in the future,” an official statement read, adding that he leaves the club “after six glittering seasons, in which he has played a key role in winning no fewer than 13 titles”.
In addition to four La Ligas, the most high-profile of these is of course the 2014-2015 Champions League, in what was both his and then-coach Luis Enrique’s maiden term at the Camp Nou.
Scoring Barça’s first during the 3-1 triumph over Juventus in the final in Berlin, the club described it as his “most memorable goal” and the player himself as a “versatile, hard-working, and expert reader of the game”.
Rakitic departs from the La Liga giants after making 310 competitive appearances, which puts him fourth in the all-time rankings for foreign stars at the club after Lionel Messi, Daniel Alves, and Javier Mascherano.
Longing to head back to the city where his wife hails from, Rakitic had been treated poorly by the fired Ernesto Valverde and was often wrongfully made a scapegoat by fans on social media networks in the wake of bad results.
Last Monday, he was told by new manager Ronald Koeman that he had become surplus to requirements and did not feature in his plans for the upcoming 2020/2021 season.
Receiving similar treatment from the Dutchman, Rakitic could be joined out of the exit door by Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal in the coming days.