UEFA Europa League hopefuls Sevilla FC have strengthened their squad by signing Ivan Rakitić from FC Schalke 04 and midfielder Gary Medel from CD Universidad Católica.
Sevilla have paid Schalke a reported fee of €1.5m for Rakitić, 22, who has penned a four-and-half-year contract. The Swiss-born Croatian international scored 12 goals in 97 top-flight outings for Schalke, having joined the Bundesliga team in 2007 from FC Basel 1893. He was also on target on his last appearance for Schalke, a 3-2 defeat of 1. FC Nürnberg in the German Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.
"I had a lot of options," said Rakitić, ever-present so far in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying for Croatia. "Many clubs in different leagues expressed their interest in me but I wanted to come to Spain and Sevilla were one of the best deals on offer because they are a great team."
The 23-year-old Medel, meanwhile, arrives at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuan from Chile's Católica for around €3m. The midfielder has spent the last two seasons on loan to CA Boca Juniors, where he scored seven times in 46 league matches. After a successful medical, the Chilean international, who has won 28 caps, said: "I always give everything when I'm out on the pitch and I play with a lot of heart."
Gregorio Manzano's side host FC Porto in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie on 17 February, with the return in Portugal six days later.
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