Ivan Rakitic: Barcelona sign Croatia midfielder from Sevilla

Barcelona sign Ivan Rakitic
Ivan Rakitic started in Croatia's World Cup opener against Brazil

Spanish giants Barcelona have agreed to sign Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic on a five-year contract from La Liga rivals Sevilla.

The 26-year-old, who started in his nation's World Cup opener against Brazil, scored 15 goals last season.

He also skippered Sevilla to Europa League success against Benfica.

Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez, 20, who joined from Manchester Cityexternal-link in August, will be loaned to the Andalusian club for two seasons.

Swiss-born Rakitic, who has won 62 caps for Croatia, joined Sevilla from German side Schalke in January 2011. He has made 149 appearances for the club, scoring 32 goals.

The central midfielder, who also provided 17 assists last season, netted in Sevilla's 3-2 defeat at the Nou Camp last September.

He becomes Barcelona's first major signing since Luis Enrique replaced Gerardo Martino as manager at the end of last season.

The Catalan club finished La Liga runners-up behind Atletico Madrid as they ended the season trophy-less for the first time since 2008.

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