Barcelona are ready to sit down with Sevilla to discuss a move to take midfielder Ivan Rakitić back to Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán.
Rakitić left Sevilla back in 2014 after establishing himself as one of La Liga’s finest creators, but after a few stellar seasons at Camp Nou, the Croatia international is no longer a core part of Quique Setién’s side.
His contract is set to expire in 2021, and Sport note that Barça have no intention of offering him a renewal, so they are ready to let him go this summer before he is able to walk away for free.
They had hoped to raise €20m by selling Rakitić, but there’s an acceptance that nobody is going to pay that for an ageing midfielder with just one year left on his contract.
Sevilla are at the front of the queue for Rakitić’s signature this summer, and the midfielder himself is keen to return to end his career with the club – but they would only be able to afford his wages and signing-on fee if they signed him on a free transfer.
The 32-year-old is ready to see out the final year of his deal and leave on a free, at which point Barcelona will have paid him another load of his yearly €7.8m salary, so La Blaugrana are ready to lower their demands to try and get a deal done this summer.
It seems highly unlikely that Barça will agree to let Rakitić go for free, but the idea of them dropping their asking price to avoid paying that whopping salary makes a lot of sense for a club looking to save money.
Talks over Rakitić’s future have been put on hold until August after the Champions League comes to a close so as to ensure he remains focused on helping Barça win at least one trophy this season.
Having already offloaded Arthur in exchange for Juventus’ Miralem Pjanić, Barcelona are keen to continue restructuring their midfield.
Young Riqui Puig is expected to earn more minutes next season after impressing since La Liga’s return, and when you factor in Pjanić and the return of Frenkie de Jong from injury, it’s no wonder there may not be a place for Rakitić going forward.