Barcelona confirm Keita exit

The African midfielder has decided to further his career away from Camp Nou after featuring infrequently in 2011-12, with reports suggesting he will move to China
Barcelona have announced on their official website that Seydou Keita has decided to leave the club.

The Mali international still had two years left on his contract with the Blaugrana, but a clause in the deal says that he can leave Camp Nou after failing to feature in at least 50 per cent of the club's official matches last season.

He is expected to sign on Sunday a two-and-a-half-year deal with newly-promoted Chinese club Dalian Aerbin, who were linked with Didier Drogba and Amauri earlier in the year.

"Seydou Keita announced tonight that he will not continue at the club next season," a Barca statement read.

"Barcelona would like to thank Seydou Keita for his role at the club in the last years and wish him new professional and personal successes in the future."

Keita signed for Barcelona in 2008 from Sevilla in a deal worth €14 million, scoring 22 goals in 168 matches for the Catalans.

He had been linked with a new challenge in recent weeks after a disappointing season in which he made just 22 competitive starts.