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Barcelona sign up Croatian Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla

Updated: Monday, 16 Jun 2014 20:07 | Comments

Rakitic is seen as a natural replacement for Cesc Fabregas
Rakitic is seen as a natural replacement for Cesc Fabregas

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Barcelona have agreed to buy Croatia World Cup midfielder Ivan Rakitic from La Liga rivals Sevilla, the two clubs said on Monday, in a deal local media reported was worth around €20 million.

"Barcelona and Sevilla have reached agreement for the transfer of Ivan Rakitic," Barca said in a statement on their website, adding that the 26-year-old would sign a five-year contract. 

Rakitic arrives at Barca after the club announced last week Cesc Fabregas was leaving to join Chelsea and he is seen as a natural replacement for the Spain playmaker.

Rakitic, who was born in Switzerland, is a "multi-faceted midfielder who combines two great virtues: physical strength and technical quality," Barca said.

After coming through the youth ranks at Basel, Rakitic joined Bundesliga side Schalke 04, where he spent four seasons before moving to Sevilla in 2011.

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