Barcelona are expected to announce the signing of Croatian international Ivan Rakitic later on this week. Rakitic will move from Sevilla for a fee of around £16.2m and become part of Luis Enrique’s new-look Barcelona team.
Rakitic, who is preparing to face Brazil in the World Cup opening match this Thursday, has agreed personal terms with Barca and is just awaiting the clubs to agree the final figure and conditions of the transfer. Upon completion, Barca are expected to commence with Cesc Fabregas’ transfer to whichever club he chooses. The Croat is expected to cost the Catalan club around £16m (€20m) and replace the outgoing Fabregas.
It has not yet been revealed whether Sevilla want a player to be included in the Rakitic deal, with Ibrahim Afellay, Cristian Tello or Denis Suarez being named as potential movers.
Sevilla have almost been forced into selling their star man with Rakitic entering the final year of his contract. Rakitic has long been dubbed the best player outside of Barcelona and both Madrid clubs in La Liga, scoring 15 goals for Unai Emery’s team last season.
The Croatian star skippered Sevilla to a fifth place finish and Europa League glory, all coming after he refused a move to Liverpool last summer as the club lost a number of star players such as Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas, Luis Alberto, Gary Medel and Geoffrey Kondogbia.
Real Madrid were interested in Rakitic this summer, with the player’s agent (and father) admitting a deal was likely to occur following the World Cup, but Barcelona have moved rapidly, which will no doubt please Enrique and antagonise Madrid.
This is the sort of skill Barcelona can expect from their soon-to-be recruit, here with an audacious flick over Pepe.