The distance is now minimal. The obstacles have been reduced quite a bit to get closer to an agreement between Barcelona and Inter for the transfer of Ivan Rakitic at the end of the season. After having the yes from Diego Godin, the pillar of Atletico Madrid, the club of Steven Zhang is going to secure one of the biggest names for Barcelona and Croatia, 2018 World Cup runner-up. Another top player in La Liga to raise the quality of the squad, also focusing on the personality of a leader.
The meeting – In great secrecy, in the past few days, Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta and sporting director Piero Ausilio already met with Barcelona management to lay down foundation for an agreement of around €40M. Well, at least this figure is the most likely meeting point of negotiation, considering that the last Inter offer is €35 while Barcelona are firm at asking for €45M. Negotiation came alive last week with an initial request of €50M, way too far from the €30M put on the plate by Inter management at the very beginning of negotiation. Since that day, both sides have always breathed the air of mutual confidence. Unlike what happened last summer with Real Madrid for Luka Modric which ended up with Florentino Perez filing a complaint to FIFA. This time, Inter management did not play around, asking Barcelona for an immediate sit down to talk about the transfer. And so, the Catalan club started the dialogue without suspicion. It is also true that Barcelona can no longer afford to spend regardless of UEFA FFP and so that has led to Bartomeu and his associates to look at their situation more constructively.
First move – But the most significant news comes from the black and blue side. With an encouraging position in Serie A and a calm financial situation (finally!), Marotta and Ausilio have started early when it comes to transfer market, especially they are doing so with a big budget. This is not a small advantage because the sooner you arrive, the higher the chances to achieve your objectives. Rakitic certainly appreciates the urgency that Inter are taking and the signs appear to be positive also on this front. Marotta only came into the action only after knowing that the player has already expressed the desire to change club to his president. That move happened early February and due to leaks of this news, the Croatian’s feeling has become public knowledge.
Contract – And now, negotiation to find agreement with the player will come alive. After the formal green light from Barcelona, Inter directors will advance forward regarding the contractual terms with Dejan Rakitic, brother of Ivan who will turn 31 years old by March 10th. The role of a family friend in Italian-Swiss intermediary Giacomo Petradito will be important in this case. Rakitic is under contract with Barcelona until 2021 and has a base salary of €5.5M net. The offer on the table will be for three years, that will be enough for now as both clubs continue their negotiation. There is optimism because at this stage, Barcelona and Inter are talking about how to pay the transfer fee (how many installments, how many years etc…) and also the bonuses that are linked to team performance. While we are waiting for the deal to finalize, the green light given by the player and his family has significant weigh. Ivan has won everything but the idea of closing his high level career in Serie A fascinates him. He turned his back against Juventus and Milan and now he will have another chance to go to Italy.