Tagged in: Barcelona

Rakitic leaves Barca to rejoin Sevilla

Ivan Rakitic is set to become the first big name player to leave Barcelona this summer and will re-sign for old club Sevilla.

The Croatian was one of numerous Barca stars who were told they were not part of new manager Ronald Koeman’s plans moving forward at the Nou Camp.

The midfielder has agreed a two-year deal with Sevilla, with an option for a third, and will take a significant pay cut as a result, according to Goal.

Rakitic will earn £2.7million-per-year at Sevilla which is a huge decrease from the £7million he earned during his last term with Barcelona.

The 32-year-old spent three seasons with Sevilla and won the Europa League in the 2013/14 season right before he made his big switch to the Catalan club in 2014.

His return has been agreed in principle by the two clubs, who have agreed a nominal fee for now.

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Rakitic has been one of the few Barcelona stars who have been linked with moves away for quite some time.

The midfielder was attracting interest from Serie A clubs back in January, as well as being linked with Manchester United, but no move was finalized.

Whilst he has always spoken on his love for Sevilla, he had said earlier in the transfer window that he would remain at Barca for one more season to see out his contract.

However, new boss Koeman has had other plans as the LaLiga giants have descended into chaos over recent weeks with Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal and others all told they are no longer wanted.

Lionel Messi has also not been reporting to training and testing as his feud with Koeman rumbles on amid rumours of a staggering transfer to Manchester City. Sevilla have also managed to get business done elsewhere, as they confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Yassine Bono on a permanent basis from Girona for £3.6million.

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Arthur wants to stay, Barca open to offers

Over the last few days, Arthur’s name has been linked with several moves away from the Camp Nou. The Barça midfielder is a wanted man across Europe but, according to Esporte Interativo, he’s let the club know he wants to stay and isn’t interested in a transfer elsewhere.

RAC1 claimed Barça and Juventus were in talks over a potential swap deal involving Arthur. That report stated the Italian giants had offered Pjanic in exchange and it was being considered by the sporting department. Another name linked with Barça is Tottenham Hotspur’s Tanguy Ndombele and the North London side would be open to a swap deal too.

As reported by Goal, initial discussions have taken place between the two clubs, with Juve keen on signing the 23-year-old midfielder, potentially in a swap deal that could include Miralem Pjanic.

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Maurizio Sarri is a fan of the Brazil international and is aiming to sign a midfielder when the transfer window reopens, albeit with Paul Pogba being at the top of the Serie A club’s wishlist.

Arthur has made 67 appearances in all competitions for Barca since joining the club from Gremio back in 2018 and is considered an important member of Quique Setien’s first-team squad.

He has also claimed 20 caps for Brazil and was part of the Copa America-winning side that defeated Peru in the 2019 final, with Arthur’s performances seeing him named in the team of the tournament.

While the former Gremio star is keen to remain at Camp Nou, the future of Philippe Coutinho is somewhat more uncertain.

Barca remain hopeful of offloading the 27-year-old, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, in the summer and have offered him to Premier League clubs in the hope of finding a buyer.

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Barcelona set for big exits due to virus

Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Frenkie de Jong are the only players safe at Barcelona this summer as the Catalan club predict less spending and more player exchanges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, sources have told ESPN.

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted last month that the club would still be “capable” of landing the game’s best players, but he warned deals could be organized in a very different way after the crisis.

“There is not going to be as much money in the transfer market because of the pandemic,” Bartomeu said. “But I predict that we are going to see a lot more swap deals.”

Barcelona have already committed to two transfers that will be completed in the summer. Forward Francisco Trincao will move to Camp Nou from Braga in a €30 million deal and Las Palmas midfielder Pedri will join for an initial €5m.

However, sources have told ESPN that the club continues to target another attacker and an internal debate has developed over whether it will still be possible to sign Lautaro Martinez or Neymar — or even both — when the window opens.

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There is also a wish to sign a right-back, a centre-back to replace Gerard Pique in the long term and a physical midfielder.

Inter striker Lautaro has a release clause of €111m that becomes active in the first two weeks of July. However, sources say Barca have “no intention” of paying that much. There have already been several meetings with the Serie A side and the possibility of including players to lower the price has been discussed.

Neymar remains Barca’s other big target. A year ago, Barca offered PSG several combinations of cash plus players, with Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Rakitic, Samuel Umtiti, Jean-Clair Todibo and Ousmane Dembele all put forward. PSG rejected the proposals then, but Barca hope they will change their stance this summer with Neymar’s deal up in 2022 and the possibility of the player invoking Article 17 to force an exit unilaterally.

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Barca granted permission to sign striker

Barcelona have finally been given authorization to sign a new forward to replace the injured Ousmane Dembélé.

The Frenchman underwent surgery on a torn hamstring and is expected to miss close to six months of action, while striker Luis Suárez is also sidelined with a knee injury, so Barça have applied to the RFEF for special permission to sign a replacement outside of the transfer window.

Now, Mundo Deportivo state that the RFEF have granted Barcelona permission to bring in a new striker, so La Blaugrana now have 15 days to find a new striker.

They are allowed to sign someone from another Spanish side or a player who is currently without a club.

Getafe’s Ángel Rodríguez, Alavés’ Lucas Pérez and Real Betis’ Loren Morón have all been suggested, but MD believe that Leganés striker Martin Braithwaite is the most likely candidate to arrive at Camp Nou in the coming weeks.

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The club have long been linked with pretty much every striker in Spain, but director Guillermo Amor confirmed (via ​Sport) that there was a delay in gaining permission from the RFEF.

Before the ruling, he said: “A lot has been said but we still don’t have the green light from the RFEF to sign. We’ve still not received anything official. If we do, the club will take the decision that has to be taken.

“First we have to see if we get authorisation. What’s clear is that the club have been working on this a lot. We work hard every day, analysing and improving and, when the moment comes, we will do what’s best for the club. That’s not in doubt.” 

A possible reason for the delay could have been ​La Lig​a’s ambiguity over Dembélé’s injury. It was suggested that league officials were not convinced the winger will miss six months of action, so they were working closely with a specialist team to try and identify whether such a layoff would actually make sense.

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