Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been in touch with Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic in an attempt to persuade him to move to north London, according to reports.
The Croatia midfielder has less than a year left on his contract at the Nou Camp and has been heavily linked with a move away.
Manchester United have been linked with a move for the 31-year-old, while PSG have also emerged as contenders.
However, there remains interest in Spain from Atletico Madrid and his former club, Sevilla.
In fact, Rakitic’s preference is thought to be on staying in LaLiga were he be moved on after six seasons at Barcelona.
With that in mind, Arteta may have a tough job of convincing the player to move to London and the Premier League.
Nonetheless, Le10Sport claims Arteta has done just that and made personal contact in a bid to sell the idea to him.
They state Arteta has made Rakitic a double promise to convince him to make the move. In their conversation, Arteta has told Rakitic he wants him to be the ‘boss’ of their midfield.
Secondly, Arteta sees Rakitic as a leader and would see him as an Arsenal vice-captaincy behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Aubameyang, himself, will be offered a new £250,000 a week deal this week to convince him to stay, according to a report.
Furthermore, Arteta is desperate to get his hands on Rakitic and hopes the double ploy will convince him to make the switch.
The player is expected to be made available for a knockdown fee this summer after falling down the pecking order at Barca.
And that will suit Arsenal, who despite securing European football following their FA Cup win, do have limited funds to strengthen their squad.
Rakitic himself appears open to the idea of a move, but has hinted at a preference for Sevilla.
“When parties sign a contract it is with the idea of fulfilling it,” Rakitic said in May. “Also with the idea that I want to play, but I am calm about it.
“I would have liked someone from the club to come out to say Rakitic was staying to end the rumours. Bartomeu has not told me anything. Perhaps today he is listening to us and tomorrow he is going to call me.
“Summers transfers? If (Inter striker) Lautaro Martinez arrives, I would be delighted but that is not to do with me.
“I have never closed the doors to making a big change (in my career).”
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