Sevilla have confirmed Ivan Rakitic has rejoined the club from LaLiga rivals Barcelona on a four-year contract.
The 32-year-old Croatia international spent six years with Los Rojiblancos, lifting the Europa League trophy as captain in 2014.
Midfielder Rakitic left Sevilla in June that year and went on to win 16 trophies with Barcelona. They included the Champions League and four LaLiga titles.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho had shown a significant interest in trying to lure Rakitic to north London.
Indeed, the Portuguese had made no secret that he is a fan of Rakitic. Previously, he labelled him the most ‘undervalued player in the world’ and a ‘fantastic’ asset.
However, the 31-year-old always made a return to Sevilla his first choice. Given his wife is from the region, it was a transfer that always made sense – much to Mourinho’s frustration.
During his previous spell in Seville, Rakitic scored 32 goals and provided 41 assists in 149 appearances.
Announcing the move, Sevilla said in a statement: “He now returns home after six years away, with the maturity of a 32-year-old and with the knowledge of what playing for Sevilla FC means.”
Tottenham in talks to sign ‘perfect’ attacker
Tottenham, however, could have more joy in their pursuit of Josh King amid claims talks have been opened
The north London side have already brought in experienced stars Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Joe Hart and Matt Doherty this summer.
They have also been tipped to sign King’s Cherries teammate Callum Wilson. But a move for King appears to make more sense for Mourinho.
The Norway international can play through the middle or out wide, perfect for Mourinho’s 4-3-3 system.
Wilson, however, would spend the majority of his time at Spurs on the bench behind Harry Kane – if he joined.