More good transfer news coming out of Hütteldorf: following the departure of Lucas Galvao to FC Ingolstadt, we have successfully recruited Mateo Barac, a left-sided central defender with international experience. The 23-year old has already made his debut for the Croatian national side, and has made seven appearances for former club NK Osijek in European competition, including completing more than ninety minutes during Osijek’s victory over two legs against PSV Eindhoven in last season’s Europa League qualification play-off.
Barac, who completed part of his footballing education in the renowned HNK Hajduk Split academy, was born on 20 July 1994 and stands 190cm tall. SK Rapid have paid an undisclosed transfer fee for Barac, whose contact with NK Osijek was due to run until summer 2020. The centre-back has signed a contract with Rapid that ties him to Hütteldorf until summer 2021 and contains no release clauses. Barac has already successfully completed a medical in Vienna.
Sporting Director Fredy Bickel: "As we have known for a while now that it was a possibility that Galvao might leave the club, we’ve had our eye on Meteo Barac for some time and have watched him on numerous occasions. He possesses all the qualities required of a modern defender: he’s comfortable getting involved in build-up play, is quick across the first couple of meters, and thanks partly to his height, he is extremely strong in the air and is also hard in the tackle. Additionally, he has an excellent temperament, is down to earth and stands out through his professional attitude. I’m delighted that Mateo chose to make the move to Hütteldorf, as he had many other foreign clubs interested in securing his services."
Barac will sport his favoured number 4 on the back of his shirt, and will be part of the Day of the Open Door sessions in Hütteldorf. Barac gave the following initial thoughts on his move: "Rapid is extremely well known in my native Croatia, and is extremely highly rated. I’m excited by this new challenge, meeting my new team mates, and also the atmosphere in the stadium in Vienna Hütteldorf."