Arsenal started negotiations with €20m-rated Croatia international

The London giants boss Mikel Arteta has reportedly been in touch with Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic over a possible summer transfer. The 32-year-old midfielder has not been as much of a regular in the Blaugrana first-team this campaign and wants to leave as he enters the final year of his deal, leading to an approach from the Gunners.

The report claims the Spanish manager has told Ivan he wants to make him a leader in his midfield, which makes sense for the London club as that’s undoubtedly been an area of weakness for them this campaign.

Croatia international would surely be an upgrade on under-performing footballers like Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira, while he could also have a crucial role to play if the London giants are unable to extend the loan of Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos.

Still, it seems like initial negotiations have not gone well as the Croatian midfielder’s preference is to stay in Spanish football or possibly move to Italy rather than make the switch to the PL.

Gunners supporters will surely be hoping the Spanish manager can work to change Ivan’s mind, as Rakitic has long been a top performer for the Catalan giants, with his experience and winning mentality much-needed at Arsenal.

The Spanish manager has made Ivan a double promise to convince him to make the move. In their conversation, Mikel Arteta has told Ivan Rakitic he wants him to be the ‘boss’ of their midfield.

Secondly, Mikel Arteta sees Ivan as a leader and would see him as a Gunners vice-captaincy behind Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Auba, himself, will be offered a new £250,000-a-week deal this week to convince him to remain.