According to Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, his Croatia international Ivan Rakitic has agreed to move to Barcelona in a €20 million move, with Denis Suarez moving the other way on a season-long loan as part of the deal.
The transfer is expected to set in motion a chain of events that will Cesc Fabregas leave Barcelona for Chelsea for around €36 million, and Barca legend Xavi Hernandez leave the club after over two decades at the Camp Nou..
Speaking to Sport from Croatia’s World Cup training camp in Brazil, Modric said he would have liked his club, Real Madrid, to sign Rakitic.
“But in the end it could not be, and he has gone to Barca. I am very happy for him — he deserves it. To go to a big club like Barca, with a global dimension, is an important step in his career.”
Modric said Switzerland-born Rakitic, who impressed as Sevilla won the Europa League and finished fifth in the Primera Division, had shown he had what was needed to succeed at Barcelona.
“Everyone has seen this season what he is capable of doing,” he said. “He is a great footballer who is improving. I am convinced that his performances in the coming seasons will be even better.”
The part of playmaker Suarez, 20, in the deal has yet to be confirmed by either club, but his likely loan deal may include a set price to buy should he impress.
I get the feeling that it will be a real changing of the guard at Barcelona this summer. Carles Puyol has already retired, Victor Valdes left on a free transfer, Xavi is expected to leave, as it Alexis Sanchez. That team that took apart Manchester United at Wembley three short years ago is gone, ripped apart by age, injuries and a coaching Merry Go Round.