Barcelona are poised to replace Cesc Fabregas, who looks set to complete a sensational move to Chelsea, with the Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic. The Croatia international was one of La Liga's standout performers during the 2013/14 campaign, scoring 12 goals in 34 league appearances for the Europa League winners.
According to SPORT, Barcelona will pay €20m for the 26-year-old, who joined Sevilla from Schalke in 2011. The classy midfielder - who has been linked with Manchester United - has scored a total of 34 goals in 147 matches for the Andalusian outfit, cementing his status as one of Spain's best player in the process.
And his performances have not gone unnoticed by Barcelona, who are also prepared to offload former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song this summer in order to generate funds to overhaul their side. Atletico Madrid star Koke remains top of the Catalan giants' summer transfer wish-list, but the Spain international is believed to be content at the Vicente Calderon.
Barcelona's decision to sell Fabregas has come as a huge shock to many, with Xavi Hernandez approaching the end of his career. The 27-year-old has been linked to a host of Premier League clubs in recent weeks - including the likes of Manchester United, City and his former club Arsenal - but it now seems certain that the midfielder will be plying his trade under ex-Real Madrid head coach Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge from the start of next season.
Reports suggest Fabregas may have already undergone a medical with the Blues ahead of a €33m move to the west London outfit. The Spaniard is expected to complete his move after this summer's World Cup finals - which begin next Thursday - although an announcement could be made sooner.