Aleix Vidal
Aleix Vidal has only started three La Liga games during the opening half of the season. Getty

Ivan Rakitic has backed Barcelona teammate Aleix Vidal to complete a return to Sevilla during the current January transfer window.

Vidal swapped the Sanchez Pizjuan for the Nou Camp in the summer of 2015 after helping the Andalucian side win the Europa League during the 2014-15 campaign.

The 28-year-old versatile wing-back was unable to play during his first months at Barcelona due to the Catalans' transfer ban and has since failed to make the impact expected.

The versatile Sergi Roberto and Nelson Semedo are ahead of him in Ernesto Valverde's pecking order to cover the right-back spot while his options to play on the wing in the second half of the season will be restricted following the arrival of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool and the return of Ousmane Dembele from a long-term injury.

It has been said that Barcelona have told Vidal to find a new club this month with the Catalans keen on selling some players to balance their books following the arrival of the Brazilian ace.

Sevilla, Roma and AC Milan are said to be ready to take advantage of the situation and will try to lure him away from the Nou Camp ahead of the second half of the season.

And Rakitic, who also played at Sevilla before moving to Barcelona in 2014, has encouraged his current teammate to make the move to the Sanchez Pizjuan.

"If he decides to go to Sevilla, as a teammate, and a Sevillista, I would that like very much," Rakitic said, as quoted by Marca. "I wish him all the best. He already knows them very well, he is a player of the highest quality and Sevilla are the best in Europe."

Reports in Spain are claiming that Vidal is likely to return to the Andalucian side but the two clubs are stuck in negotiations to complete a deal.

Mundo Deportivo is claiming that Barcelona want to part ways with the Spaniard on a permanent basis in a deal worth around €10m (£8.8m, $11.9m) while Sevilla are instead keen on a loan.

The report says that the Catalans would be ready to loan him if Sevilla agree to include a mandatory option to buy him for the aforementioned fee at the end of the season.

However, the Andalucian side don't want that option to be mandatory so both clubs are expected to held further talks in the "coming hours" in an attempt to find a solution.

Vidal made 15 appearances for Barcelona during the opening half of the season but the Catalans are keen on letting him go to cut his salary from the wage budget following the arrival of Coutinho in a club record €160m transfer.

In this sense, reports in Spain are claiming that Arda Turan, Rafinha Alcantara and Gerard Deulofeu will also been shown the exit door with Javier Mascherano also expected to seal a transfer to Hebei China Fortune at the end of this month.