Barça release Independiente-bound Milito

Argentina defender Gabriel Milito has been released by Barcelona, and is set to return to his first club Independiente.

The 30-year-old Milito, whose contract still had a year to run, joined Barça from Real Zaragoza in 2007 but he was limited to only 75 appearances for the Catalan giants, with a serious knee injury suffered in the 2008 UEFA Champions League semi-finals sidelining him for over 18 months.

A statement on the Barcelona website read: "Barcelona and Gabriel Milito have reached an agreement to release the Argentinian, whose contract expires on 30 June 2012."

Milito, younger brother of Inter Milan striker Diego Milito, started his career with Independiente in 1997, before spending nine years in Spain.