Barcelona transfer news: Ivan Rakitic to join Barca from Sevilla for £16.2m

Croatian is currently on international duty preparing for the World Cup

Barcelona have agreed a £16.2m deal with Sevilla for the highly-rated Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic, and hope to get the deal concluded before the start of the World Cup.

The 26-year-old, who was born in Switzerland, was also wanted by La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, but decided to opt for the Nou Camp giants.

Rakitic began his career at Swiss side FC Basel, before moving to Schalke 04 in 2007. He starred in Sevilla's Europa League-winning season last term.

The Sevilla coach, Unai Emery, revealed on Thursday that he had anticipated the player would be leaving the club.

"I could understand if Rakitic leaves," Emery told Canal Plus. "In an ideal world, he would stay but I know he has several offers. If he leaves, we'll try and sign another Rakitic."

Rakitic is currently away on international duty with Croatia as they prepare for the World Cup. Croatia take on Brazil in the opening game of the tournament, against hosts Brazil in six day's time.

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