Barcelona hope to announce the signing of Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic later today. The Croatia international will replace Cesc Fabregas, whose £30 million transfer to Chelsea could be made official in the next few hours.
This information is provided by Spanish newspaper Marca, who claim Sevilla are negotiating hard for the best deal they can get from the Catalan giants before they give the 26-year-old the green light to complete his move to the Camp Nou. However, a meeting involving Barcelona’s vice-president Javier Faus and sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta at Sevilla’s Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on Monday night has left the deal close to completion.
Barcelona have offered €18 million and former Manchester City youngster Denis Suarez on loan. Sevilla, though, want a further €2 million as well as the option to sign 20-year-old Suarez on a permanent transfer once his loan expires.
Rakitic, meanwhile, will agree to waive any money that Sevilla would have owed him in the near future. The Croatian has been the Andalusian outfit’s best performer this season, scoring 15 goals in 52 appearances for the Europa League winners, and is tipped to play a starring role at this summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil. Croatia play Brazil in Thursday’s eagerly-anticipated opener in Sao Paulo.
Rakitic has been brought in to replace Fabregas, whose spell with his beloved boyhood club has come to a premature end. The former Arsenal star spent three years with the La Liga outfit, but has now been convinced to join ex-Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho at Chelsea after the Gunners decided not to re-sign him.
Mourinho hopes to complete the big-money signing of the Spain international before the end of the week.