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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ivan Rakitic set for Sevilla exit ahead of Al Shabab transfer

Ivan Rakitic has said goodbye to his Sevilla teammates as he closes in on a transfer to Saudi Arabian club Al Shabab.

Rakitic, 35, has been an ever-present for Sevilla since returning from Barcelona in 2020 for his second spell at the club and is currently the Spanish side’s vice-captain.

Al Shabab are not one of the four Public Investment Fund (PIF) funded clubs in Saudi Arabia, but did sign Yannick Carrasco from Atletico Madrid last summer and previously signed Ever Banega from Sevilla in 2020.

Rakitic is out of contract at Sevilla at the end of the current campaign and the club are willing to negotiate his early exit, allowing them to reduce their wage bill.

Sevilla are in a relegation battle this campaign having won just three of their 21 La Liga matches — they sit just one place and one point above the relegation zone.

Rakitic has started 22 matches across all competitions this season for Sevilla, scoring two goals.

The Croatian has enjoyed a trophy-laden career, winning 16 titles across his spells with Basel, Schalke, Sevilla and Barcelona, while he starred in his nation’s run to the 2018 World Cup final.

Rakitic played a key role in Sevilla’s Europa League titles in 2014 and 2023, while he won four La Liga titles with Barcelona alongside the Champions League crown in 2015.

Quique Sanchez Flores is currently the third head coach of the season at Sevilla, following the dismissals of Jose Luis Mendilibar and Diego Alonso earlier in the campaign.

(Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)


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