Mikel Arteta has personally contacted Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic to try and convince the Croatian to join Arsenal, reports say.
Ivan has been tipped to leave Blaugrana this summer after falling down the pecking order at the club and has been linked with a transfer to Manchester United.
Le 10 Sport state Rakitic is preparing for an exit from Barcelona and Mikel is desperate to recruit him for Arsenal.
In the conversation, the Spaniard told the player he wanted him to be the boss of his Gunners midfield as he aims to revamp his squad in spite of limited transfer funds.
Rakitic’s deal at Camp Nou expires next year and the star is expected to be available at a knockdown price this summer.
Arteta may be keen, but Rakitic told the Gunners head coach moving to the Premier League was not his preference. Ivan wants to stay in Spain or join an Italian outfit and has interest from several clubs in both countries.
Barcelona too are facing financial difficulties will are expected to offload multiple of their playing staff to raise transfer funds.
The Catalan side want to sign Inter striker Lautaro Martinez but have been so far unable to trigger his £98.8million xit clause.
Arteta has drawn up a long list of targets and has been urged by Arsenal to focus on swap deals and free transfers where possible.
The club are set to lose Dani Ceballos in midfield as he returns to Real Madrid, while Mikel is keen to sell Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi.