Soccer

What Ivan Rakitic told Mikel Arteta in phone call over Arsenal transfer

Mikel Arteta has personally contacted Ivan Rakitic to try and convince him to join Arsenal, reports say.

Rakitic has been tipped to leave Barcelona this summer after falling down the pecking order at the Camp Nou and has been linked with a transfer to Manchester United.

Le 10 Sport claim Rakitic is preparing for an exit from Barcelona and Arteta is desperate to recruit him for Arsenal.

In the conversation Arteta told the Croatian he wanted him to be the boss of his Arsenal midfield as he aims to revamp his squad despite limited transfer funds.

Rakitic’s deal at Barcelona expires next year and the 32-year-old is expected to be available at a knockdown price this summer.

Arteta may be keen, but Rakitic told the Arsenal head coach moving to the Premier League was not his preference.

Rakitic wants to stay in Spain or join an Italian side and has interest from several clubs in both countries.

Barcelona too are facing financial difficulties will are expected to offload several of their playing staff to raise transfer funds.

The Catalan giants want to sign Inter striker Lautaro Martinez, but have been so far unable to trigger his £98.8million release clause.

Arteta has drawn up a long list of targets and has been told by Arsenal to focus on swap deals and free transfers where possible.

Arsenal are set to lose Dani Ceballos in midfield as he returns to Real Madrid, while Arteta is keen to sell Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi.

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