Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic has left Barcelona in order to return to his old club Sevilla.
The deal was reportedly agreed as early as 31 August, which allowed the player to undergo medical tests ahead of signing a four-year contract with Julen Lopetegui‘s side.
Ivan Rakitic Returns to Old Club Sevilla
— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) September 1, 2020
The Barcelona Summer Rebuild is Underway
Only seven senior first-team players were not classified as ‘untouchable’ in the Catalan club’s rebuilding project, according to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Croatian midfielder Rakitic was not named among those players, thus paving the way for him to move back to his former side Sevilla, where he has friends and close relatives.
The 32-year-old initially swapped Seville for Barcelona back in 2014 and enjoyed six trophy-laden years in Catalonia.
The midfielder won the Champions League with the club in 2015 and also won four La Liga titles and four Copa del Rey crowns during his time at Barcelona.
Why Were Barcelona Happy to Sell Rakitic?
Though Rakitic lost his untouchable status at Barcelona, it may seem strange that the club were still willing to sanction his departure this summer.
At 32, the player still has a lot to offer at the highest level and had been a first-team regular in the side ever since his £16 million arrival.
Last season, Rakitic made 42 appearances for the club in all competitions. Thirty-one of those came in La Liga, with the player scoring once and registering three assists.
Sevilla manager Lopetegui will hope Barça’s loss will be Sevilla’s gain. The former Real Madrid boss is looking to use this window to build on last season’s Europa League triumph.
Barcelona Set for Further Summer Departures
Rakitic will almost certainly not be the last high-profile departure from Ronald Koeman’s side this summer.
Dutch club Ajax are hoping to agree a deal for the signing of their former striker Luis Suarez. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi is desperate to find a new club as well. Manchester City are among the frontrunners for the Argentine great’s signature.