Ivan Rakitic always favoured Barcelona despite rival interest

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Croatian midfielder Ivan Ratkitic has spoken out about how he never questioned any other move but Barcelona, despite interest from other rival clubs, before he finally arrived at the Nou Camp.

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Other interest

It emerged that the 26-year-old Swiss born player was involved in a La Liga transfer battle as bitter rivals Real Madrid and newly crowed champions Atletico Madrid were all very eager to capture his signature. 

In the end Rakitic decided that his future lies with the Catalan club as he put pen to paper and signed a lucrative five-year-deal, which was finalised last Tuesday. The cost of the transfer is €20 million.

Rakitic delight

The former Sevilla man explained his eagerness in joining Barcelona and how he has never made such a quick decision in his life after receiving a phone call the clubs sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta.

"I thank all the clubs that were interested in me but, for me, Barcelona were the only club that existed. This is my club," Rakitic told reporters. 

"When I got the call from Zubizarreta I said 'yes' quicker than on my wedding day."

Fabregas sale

Reports of a move for Rakitic ignited speculation that Cesc Fabregas would make way this summer, with Chelsea the team able to conclude a deal for the Spain international.

Rakitic, who originally began his career with Basel in Switzerland before moving to Spain in 2011, guided Sevilla to Europa League glory last season, was delighted in being handed the infamous No.4 shirt that was once worn by former Barca captain and coach Pep Guardiola and recently departed Fabregas.

He added,"Wearing the same number as Guardiola is special. He made history as a player here and I hope I can be as successful as him."

Although there was much talk of 27-year-old Fabregas being forced out of the club he grew up with, Zubizarreta has insisted that the former Arsenal captain left on his own accord. 

"Fabregas gave us a different way of playing but he decided that his period at the club had come to an end and we looked for a solution," said Zubizarreta.

Furthermore, with the expected departure of Xavi and the future of Iniesta uncertain, there could well be a completely new look to the Barcelona midfield at the start of next season.

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