With Barcelona in the process of rebuilding the squad, the club have offloaded their first player in the form of Ivan Rakitic with the Croatian resigning for Sevilla in a deal worth €10 million. The 32-year-old spent four years at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan before leaving for Barcelona in 2014.
With their coaching staff and manager completely changed, Barcelona have now finally turned towards their players as they look to move forward and rebuild their squad. It has seen them reportedly place Luis Suarez, Samuel Umtiti and a few others on the transfer list. However, while no move has materialized for either Suarez or Umtiti, Barcelona and Sevilla have come to an agreement for Ivan Rakitic with the midfielder set to re-sign for his former side.
While reports indicated that it would be a free-transfer, official reports have confirmed that Sevilla will pay Barcelona upto €10 million. However, they have paid the La Liga giants an initial fee of only €1.5 million with the rest all tied up in various performance add-ons and bonuses. The Catalans released a statement to confirm the move and thanked the Croatian midfielder for his services during his six year spell with the club.
"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 11 am, the farewell ceremony and subsequent telematic press conference of the player will take place,” reads Barcelona’s statement on the club’s website.
The 32-year-old heads back to the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan where he spent the better part of three and a half years between 2011 and 2014. It was at Sevilla, that Rakitic made his reputation after a move from Schalke 04 and he left having won the Europa League as the captain in his final season with the club. A statement from the Los Nervionenses confirmed that Rakitic has signed a four year deal and reports have indicated that the Croatian has taken a significant wage-cut to make the move.
“Sevilla FC and FC Barcelona have reached an agreement for the transfer of midfielder Iván Rakitic, who will return to the club for a second spell after his first spell at the club between January 2011 and June 2014. The Croatian international, who has 105 caps, returns to the club six years after making the move to the Catalan side, just after lifting the Europa League trophy in Turin. He signs on a four-year deal, until 30th June 2024,” reads Sevilla’s statement on the club’s website.