Ivan Rakitic rejoins Sevilla as Barcelona upheaval continues
Croatian midfielder returns to club he played for between 2011 and 2014
Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic is to return to Sevilla from Barcelona. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters
Ivan Rakitic is rejoining Sevilla six years after arriving at Barcelona, the Catalan club have announced.
The Croat won four league titles, four Spanish Cups and the 2015 Champions League with Barcelona but was increasingly criticised during the past two campaigns and his departure comes as no surprise.
Rakitic has joined Sevilla for an initial fee of just €1.5 million plus add-ons. The add-ons are likely to be worth a further €3 million but Sevilla could end up paying a total €10.5 million to Barcelona, although that is considered extremely unlikely by all sides.
The midfielder represented Sevilla between 2011 and 2014 and won the Europa League during his last season at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium. He played more than 300 games for Barcelona, scoring 36 goals in all competitions.
It has been a summer of upheaval at Barcelona with Lionel Messi wanting to depart and Ronald Koeman replacing Quique Setién as manager following the 8-2 defeat by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Rakitic has signed a three-year contract with Sevilla.
Brighton have secured Ben White to a new four-year contract after fending off interest from Leeds, who had three bids rejected, the last of about €28 million. The 22-year-old played every minute as Leeds were promoted to the Premier League but Brighton stood firm with the centre back an integral part of their plans. – Guardian