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Mikel Arteta tells Ivan Rakitic to leave Barcelona for Arsenal - report

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The Spanish manager reportedly called the Croatian to convince him to join the Gunners

SSC Napoli v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has personally contacted Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic to try and convince him to join the Gunners this summer.

That’s according to a report from le10sport, who claim Arteta called Rakitic over the last few days to express his desire of managing the 32-year-old next season. Arsenal will most likely not be able to re-sign Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos on loan for one more season, and want an experienced player to partner with Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park.

If a report from Mundo Deportivo is to be believed, Rakitic could join his former club Sevilla for just €10 million, so Arsenal could tempt Barça to sell him with an improved offer. The problem is convincing Rakitic: the Croatian reportedly told Arteta that England is not his priority, and he would like to either stay in Spain or go to Italy.

Rakitic has been linked with Inter Milan multiple times, and although he would prefer to stay at Barça next season, Ivan knows that the competition for minutes will be fierce with the arrival of Miralem Pjanic and youngsters like Riqui Puig, Pedri and Carles Aleñá being promised a bigger role by the club.