Former Barca midfielder heads back to Spain with Valencia

Valencia have reached an agreement to take former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita on an initial six-month contract.

The 34-year-old left the Camp Nou on a free transfer in the summer of 2012 despite having one year remaining on his contract, as he was able to activate a clause that allowed him to leave should he not start more than half of their fixtures the previous season. He moved to Chinese side Dalian Aerbin, where he was reportedly earning a staggering €14million over two years, but he left the club last month after making 37 appearances.

It has now been confirmed that Los Che have agreed a deal for Keita who, pending a successful medical, will head to the Mestalla on a short-term contract for the rest of the season. However, the Spanish side have revealed that should the midfielder impress during this time, there is an option to extend his stay for a further 12 months.

A club statement read: “The midfielder Seydou Keita, subject to a medical, will sign with Valencia until June 30, with the option of a further season more. The Mali international, who had played at Chinese Super League club Dalian Aerbin until December 31 of last year, will arrive this afternoon at 1635 (local time) at the Manises airport.”

Keita began his career in France with Marseille, Lorient and Lens, before landing in Spain with Sevilla in 2007. After an impressive debut season in La Liga Barca triggered his €14million release clause, and he would go on to enjoy a trophy-filled spell in Catalonia which included three league titles and two UEFA Champions Leagues.

He joins a Valencia side who currently find themselves in tenth position in the standings, and some 11 points behind the top-six. He becomes their third new signing of the winter, following the arrivals of Eduardo Vargas and Ruben Vezo.


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