It's not like we didn't expect it, but Ivan Rakitic is officially the newest signing of FC Barcelona for the 2014/15 season, the club announced this Monday afternoon. The Blaugrana also announced the loan of Barça B's Denis Suárez to Sevilla to complete the deal. Sevilla also confirmed the news. There's no doubt about it.
The 26-year-old Croatian midfielder is currently in Brazil, representing his country in the World Cup. Rakitic has said that this is a "dream come true" to play for Barça, and he's eager to join the club after the Cup ends.
Ivan is expected to replace Xavi Hernandez in the future, whether or not the Barça legend stays for next season. Rakitic has great field vision, pass accuracy, impressive work ethic and willingness to play at different positions. The Croatian had a breakout season at Sevilla, as the team's leader and best player, ending the year with the UEFA Europa League title, 13 goals and 12 assists.
Along with the signing announcement, the terms of the deal were revealed: Rakitic comes in for £18 million, plus performance bonuses, and the loan of Denis Suárez to Sevilla.
The Suárez deal has a few tricky terms: Denis will be loaned for two years. Then, he'll become somewhat of a restricted free agent. Sevilla has a buy option of £6 million, but Barça has a blocking option of £9 million. So, if Barça wants him back in two years, they will need to buy him out only if Sevilla shows interest in paying the 6M fee.
There you have it, Barça fans. Rakitic is a Blaugrana!!! Excited?
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