Monday, 23rd June, 2014

Sevilla president Juan Castro has claimed that the club did all they could to keep hold of midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

The Croatia international had just one year left on his contract at the club heading into this summer and refused to put pen to paper on an extension.

Barcelona made an approach for Rakitic and Sevilla reluctantly accepted, selling the midfielder for around €18m, a vast profit on the €2.5m paid to sign him.

But Sevilla would have liked to have kept Rakitic, Castro claims.


"Selling Rakitic was tough", Castro told ABC.


"He's a player of such quality and importance to the club, the captain of the team, and when we met with him we made a superhuman effort to keep him, offering him a contract that was unusual for a club like this one.

"He decided he wanted to go elsewhere, and it did not go the way we wanted it too, because the negotiations could have been done differently.

"I can assure you that I wasn't happy at all about Rakitic leaving, because I wanted him to stay here so we could enjoy him, but as he had other ideas, there was little we could do."

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