The first domino has fallen at Barcelona.

After serving faithfully as one of the Camp Nou’s most integral players for over half a decade, Ivan Rakitic is close to finalizing a move that will see the 32-year-old return to his former club, Sevilla. According to Fabrizio Romano, the Croatian will sign a three-year deal to join Julen Lopetegui’s outfit after completing his medical evaluation. As of right now, it appears that Barca won’t be given any compensation for the transfer as he is in his last year of his contract.

Also according to Romano, Rakitic apparently asked the club to let him leave. It’s unknown what the circumstances of this request were, but with all the club’s recent struggles, it could be a case of a player growing weary and tired of the situation he’s in. Additionally, Rakitic’s only destination in his mind was a return to his former club that just so happened to win yet another Europa League final a month ago. Perhaps a move back to Andalusia will help the former Sevilla captain find his confidence again.

Rakitic joined Barcelona way back in 2014 during the same window when both Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Luis Suarez also made their moves to Catalonia. Up until this most recent season, Rakitic appeared in at least 50 games every year on his way to helping lead the club to unprecedented success both in Spain and in Europe.

While he’s been with Barca, he’s won four La Ligas, four Copa de Reys, two Supercopas, a Champions League, a Super Cup, and a Club World Cup. Also during this spell, he’s seen the end of the Luis Enrique era as well as the entire runs for Ernesto Valverde and Quique Setien. He’s witnessed the ends for club legends Xavi, Andres Iniesta, and Dani Alves, and he’s been a part of some of the most horrific Champions League defeats in the club’s history. To say his run with Barca has been a roller coaster would be an understatement.

 

Now with his move back to Sevilla imminent, he can possibly return to some semblance of normalcy for his career. He’ll be managed by a man who’s faced his own trials and tribulations in former Spanish National Team gaffer Julen Lopetegui, and he’ll be able to watch the rest of Barca’s purge from a friendly perch.

Elsewhere at Sevilla, the club has also reportedly come to agreement with Girona for 29-year-old goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who formerly appeared in 10 Europa League contests while on loan at Sevilla last season. The fee currently being thrown around for the Moroccan’s services is 4 million euros.


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Featured Image – AP Photo/Manu Fernandez

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