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Ivan Rakitić set to make shock move to Hajduk Split

Croatia to wear black kit against Spain

Ivan Rakitic (Photo credit: Анна Нэсси/Soccer.ru/CC license)

8 July 2024 – Hajduk Split is set to finalise its first summer reinforcement—former Croatian international Ivan Rakitić (36).

As Sportske novosti writes, Rakitić is expected to become a Hajduk Split player as early as this week.

‘The celebrated midfielder has reached a preliminary agreement for a mutual termination with Al Shabab, whereby he will forgo a significant sum to join the Croatian club.

Rakitić has already settled all contractual terms with Hajduk’s president, Lukša Jakobušić, and sporting director, Mindaugas Nikoličius, leaving only the formal separation from Al Shabab to be finalised,’ the daily exclusively reported.

Rakitić is anticipated to be a significant addition to Hajduk and he will join his former Croatia teammate Ivan Perišić at Poljud stadium, who joined the club last season. 

Gennaro Gattuso, Hajduk’s new manager, has previously said that his squad needed reinforcement ahead of the new season.

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Poljud stadium (Photo credit: Ballota/(CC BY 3.0)

Rakitić began his professional career at Basel, spending two seasons with them before moving to Schalke 04.

After three-and-a-half seasons in the Bundesliga, he joined Sevilla in January 2011, later becoming the club captain and leading the team to a UEFA Europa League victory.

In 2014, he transferred to Barcelona, where he won the treble in his first season, including La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League, notably scoring the first goal in the 2015 Champions League final.

Rakitić became the first player to win the Champions League a year after winning the Europa League with different clubs. After 310 appearances and ten additional trophies with Barcelona, he returned to Sevilla in 2020 and won the Europa League again in 2023.

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Ivan Rakitić during his Barcelona days (Photo credit: Clément Bucco-Lechat/CC BY-SA 3.0)

He then moved to Saudi Pro League club Al-Shabab.

Since his debut for Croatia in 2007, he has played in UEFA Euro 2008, 2012, and 2016, as well as the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup, reaching the final in the latter.

He retired from international duty in September 2020, having made 106 appearances, making him the fourth most capped player in Croatian history at the time of his retirement.

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