FC Barcelona has beaten the likes of Atletico and Real Madrid for the signature of Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

Rakitic has become one of the hottest property of the transfer market because of his excellent performances in Europa League and now, FC Barcelona are looking increasingly likely to emerge as the winners for his signature.

Football website Goal.com has reported today that: “the Catalan club have stolen a march on rivals Real Madrid and Atletico to snap up the Croatia midfielder on a five-year deal from Sevilla ahead of the World Cup. Barcelona have tied up a €20 million deal to sign Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla.”

Rakitic, 26, was one of the best performers in the La Liga last season. He also helped Sevilla to win their third Europa League in eight years with victory over Benfica.

His brilliant performances last season caught the eyes of many of Europe’s top clubs including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool. Aware of the growing interest for his son, Rakitic’s father had claimed last week that: “We’ll decide after the World Cup.”

However, it is becoming apparently clear that Barcelona have beaten the competition for much coveted Croatian by agreeing a deal with the management of Andalusian club.

Speculation was on rife over the future of Rakitic as Sevilla president himself had claimed few days ago that they will not force the player to stay. “The last offer we made to Rakitic was a significant percentage of our total budget,”  Sevilla president Jose Castro said. “We made this offer because we want him to sign. We want to make sure that he stays, not that he leaves. We want the team to be strong and for all Sevillistas to enjoy it. We won’t make anyone stay who doesn’t want to be at Sevilla. Anyone who wants to walk through the door can do it, though it has to be at our price. We are relaxed and we have no need to sell.”

Goal.com also reports that “Rakitic, who is preparing for Croatia’s World Cup debut against Brazil, will sign a five-year deal with the Catalan club and his release clause is to be set at €70m.”

 With the future of the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song is hanging in balance at the moment but the signing of Ivan Rakitic will open the exit door for both.

Coach Luis Enrique had numerous meetings with Sporting Director Andoni Zubizaretta since his appointment and both have worked on listing down the priority targets for the transfer window. And apart from Rakitic, Marquinhos of PSG is also the primary target of Barca.