Barcelona have announced the departure of midfielder Ivan Rakitic to former club Sevilla for just £1.3million.
The 32-year-old had been earmarked as a player that could be moved on this summer in the wake of the club’s 8-2 mauling by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, with the club planning an overhaul by selling several first team stars.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 1, 2020
— Sevilla FC (Europa League Champions 🏆) (@SevillaFC_ENG) September 1, 2020
In a statement, Barcelona thanked him for his efforts during his six years at the club and praised his achievements – announcing a farewell ceremony for him this week.
‘FC Barcelona publicly expresses its gratitude to Rakitic for his commitment and dedication and wishes him good luck and success in the future.
‘Versatile, hard-working and with a good vision of the game, he ends his career as a Barca player with 310 games, in which he has made 40 assists and 36 goals. This Wednesday, September 2, starting at 11am, the farewell ceremony and subsequent telematic press conference of the player will take place.’
Rakitic played 310 times for the Spanish giants, scoring 36 goals and winning nine major trophies – including four LaLiga titles and the Champions League.
He emerged as one of the most talented centre-midfielders in the world during his time at the Nou Camp and was a regular starter during his six years there.
The Croatian international previously played 149 times for Sevilla and helped them win the Europa League in 2014.
Manchester City are the front runners to land the Argentine superstar, but face a complicated financial barrier to secure the stunning move as he begins a dispute with his boyhood side.
Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique have also been mentioned as players who could be solid during the transfer window, with the club preparing for a new era under Koeman, who was appointed earlier this month.
The Dutchman has a tough job on his hands to deal with various players seeking a move away while helping the first team to bounce back and reclaim the LaLiga title after a turbulent 2019-20 campaign – which saw two managerial sackings.
In addition, the club are in turmoil with supporters protesting about the leadership of president Josep Bartomeu, who has faced calls to step down ahead of elections taking place next year.