Barcelona have confirmed their midfielder Ivan Rakitic has agreed to commit his future to the club and will be signing a contract extension on Friday (10 March). The new deal will keep him at Camp Nou until 2021 with a buyout clause of €125m (£108.9m, $132.4m).
A statement on Barcelona's official website read: "FC Barcelona has announced that it has reached an agreement with Ivan Rakitic to extend his contract through to 30 June 2021. The buyout clause will be set at 125 million euros, and he'll be putting pen to paper on March 10 at 1.00pm CET in the club offices."
The 28-year-old's earlier deal was set to run in 2019 and he has been in and out of the starting lineup this season and has also seen increased competition for a place in the centre of the pitch following the arrival of Andre Gomes. The duo are fighting with Denis Suarez and Rafinha for a place in the playing XI.
Increased competition and lack of regular start saw Rakitic linked with a move away from the Catalan club. The Sun reported that Jose Mourinho was eyeing a move for the former Sevilla star as he identified the midfielder as a long-term replacement for Michael Carrick at Manchester United.
In addition to this, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was interested in raiding his former club in helping the Etihad outfit in signing Rakitic, reports ESPN. There were several other European clubs that were rumoured to be interested in securing his services, but the player was focused on extending his stay with the Spanish champions.
However, the Croatian international has put the recent speculation surrounding his future to bed by agreeing a new deal with Barcelona. The length of the contract and also the new buyout clause are likely to fend off any interest from the Manchester clubs for Rakitic.
Luis Enrique started him in the second leg Champions League round of 16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou. The first leg ended in a 4-0 defeat for the La Liga outfit and despite the margin, Barcelona progressed to the quarter-final of the competition after winning the return leg 6-1 at home.