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Approach made: Arsenal boss Arteta contacts want-away Barcelona star over transfer

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has reportedly been in touch with Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic over a potential summer transfer.

The Croatia international has not been as much of a regular in the Barca first-team this season and wants to leave as he enters the final year of his contract, leading to an approach from Arsenal, according to Le 10 Sport.

MORE: Arsenal outcast drops the clearest hint yet that he’s set for a summer exit

The report claims Arteta has told Rakitic he wants to make him a leader in his midfield, which makes sense for the Gunners as that’s undoubtedly been an area of weakness for them this season.

Rakitic would surely be an upgrade on under-performing players like Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira, while he could also have a key role to play if Arsenal are unable to extend the loan of Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos.

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Arsenal have held talks over the potential transfer of Ivan Rakitic

“Ferguson kept saying we’re Manchester United and we are going to attack. But deep down, the players knew it was the wrong approach.” – Which game is Wayne Rooney talking about? Click here to find out.

Still, it looks like initial talks have not gone well as Le 10 Sport claim Rakitic’s preference is to remain in Spanish football or possibly move to Italy rather than make the switch to the Premier League.

Arsenal fans will surely be hoping Arteta can work to change Rakitic’s mind, as the 32-year-old has long been a top performer for Barcelona, with his experience and winning mentality much-needed at the Emirates Stadium.

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