Liga - Barcelona confirm Rakitic signing

Barcelona have confirmed the signing of Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic from Liga rivals Sevilla on a five-year deal for a reported transfer fee of around 20 million euros (£16 million).

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Liga - Barcelona confirm Rakitic signing
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Croatia's Ivan Rakitic and Brazil's Marcelo fight for the ball during their 2014 World Cup opening match at the Corinthians arena in Sao Paulo June 12, 2014.

Rakitic, 26, had caught the eye of Europe’s top clubs after starring during Sevilla’s run to the Europa League trophy.

He 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 in a statement on their website.

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.

As club captain and the team's dominant personality, he helped the Andalusian club win last season's Europa League and is representing Croatia at the World Cup finals in Brazil, where he put on a fine performance in the opening match of the tournament against the hosts in Sao Paulo.

As part of the Rakitic deal, Barca and Sevilla agreed that Barca B team player Denis Suarez would be loaned to Sevilla for the next two seasons.

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