Frenchman hopes to conclude a deal imminently.
Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger has sent his chief scout Steve Rowley to Italy to run his eye over highly rated Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic ahead of the north London club making a possible move for the player later this summer.
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Rowley will be in the crowd at the Juventus Stadium on Wednesday night to watch the brilliant Croatia international first hand against Portuguese giants Benfica in the final of the Uefa Europa League.
The Gunners have been keeping close tabs on Rakitic for some time now, with Wenger expected to make a move for player when the summer transfer window does finally reopen for business.
However, Arsenal will not be the only club with scouts in attendance in Turin watching Rakitic, as a number of Premier League rivals, as well as a raft of European giants too, will all be checking the 26-year-old out too.
But Wenger is said to be confident of beating them all to Rakitic’s signature, with the goalscoring midfielder’s current deal in Southern Spain now with less than 18 months left to run on it, meaning that Sevilla are desperate to offload their star man this summer rather than risk losing him for free next year.
Rakitic is currently enjoying an eye-catching campaign at the heart of the La Liga outfit’s midfield, with the Croat having managed to register an impressive 15 goals and 18 assists in his 50 matches in total in all competitions, including 12 goals and 12 assists in his 33 top-flight encounters for his club.
However, it is believed that Sevilla are seeking a transfer fee in excess of £15m for Rakitic, an amount that Wenger and Arsenal are said to be unwilling to match, especially with the player’s deal in Spain running out next June.