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Manchester City and Arsenal keen admirers of Barca star

| 16.02.2015

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic was reportedly the subject of bids from at least two Premier League sides last January, according to reports from Spain.

Mundo Deportivo claims that both Manchester City and Arsenal made approaches for the 26-year-old Croatian, who only moved to Barcelona from Sevilla for £15.8m last summer.

Rakitic has made 20 appearances for Barcelona in La Liga this season scoring three goals and has played a further five in the Champions League.

Usually deployed as a central or attacking midfielder, he played an instrumental role in helping Sevilla win the Europa League last term and was one of the few bright spots for Croatia at the World Cup.

Rakitic laid on a goal for Ivan Perisic against Mexico at the finals in Brazil but could do little to prevent his national side exiting at the group phase of the tournament.

The 26-year-old has been capped 69 times by Croatia, scoring nine goals, and has drawn comparisons with compatriot and fellow La Liga resident Luka Modric throughout his career.

Though Arsenal and Manchester City both failed to prise Rakitic away from the Nou Camp last month, a summer bid could proof more successful.

Rakitic started for Barcelona in their 5-0 victory over Levante on Sunday but was substituted after just over an hour with youngster Sergi Roberto brought on in his place.

News of Manchester City’s reported interest in the Croatian comes as Stevan Jovetic looks increasingly likely to depart the club.

The Montenegrin was left far from happy at being left out of City’s 21-man squad for the knockout phase of the Champions League at the expense of Wilfried Bony and could be considering his future this summer.

Manchester City are due to face the Catalan club in the last-16 of competition next week.

All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.