Report: Ivan Rakitić set to sign with Barcelona

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According to reports in Spanish media, Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitić is close to completing a move to Barcelona. The clubs have been in negotiations for several weeks, and it looks as though Rakitić will sign on on a five-year-deal for a fee of €20m (~$27m).

While the summer signing window has yet to open, there’s already been a flurry of activity, with players signing on free transfers and, of course, plenty of rumor to go around. And it looks as though the summer’s hottest rumor has an effect on the Rakitić signing, as well. Everyone’s talking about where Cesc Fàbregas will end up – but of course, if he leaves Barcelona, that means the club has a hole they’ll need to fill.

Rakitić is a smart pickup. The midfielder was born in Switzerland and came up through Basel’s youth system. After impressive displays in his teenage years, he moved to Bundesliga side Schalke, but it’s been at Sevilla where he’s truly turned heads. He joined the Spanish club in the middle of the 2010-2011 season and has since made 117 appearances, scoring 27 goals along the way. He’s not just a goal-scorer, however: last season he notched 13 of them, but also recorded 12 assists.

If you haven’t been watching many of Sevilla’s games, you can catch Rakitić for Croatia at the World Cup (he is of Croatian descent). There he’ll be paired with Real Madrid’s Luka Modrić in one of the silkiest midfield partnerships you can imagine. The duo’s build-up play, through balls and pinpoint passing will be key to Croatia’s success.