Foot Mercato claimed about a week ago that Barcelona were willing to offer Ivan Rakitic to Arsenal in exchange for Matteo Guendouzi this summer.
The French midfielder’s time at Arsenal seems to have come to an end. Mikel Arteta has no interest in playing Guendouzi and the former Lorient man seems destined for a move away from North London in the coming weeks.
The current financial climate has made it difficult for clubs to spend big this summer. Swap deals are expected by many to be a common theme in this window and that is how Arsenal are likely to get rid of Guendouzi.
Rakitic would have been the experienced head Arsenal need in the centre of their park. Granit Xhaka is the Gunners’ most experienced player in midfield.
Dani Ceballos, Lucas Torreira, Joe Willock, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Guendouzi himself are all fairly young, which explains why Arteta might have been interested in signing someone as experienced as the Croatian.
Rakitic, a four-time La Liga winner with Barcelona, would bring quality, experience and leadership to the Gunners midfield. But, if a fresh report is to be believed, Arsenal will have to explore other options.
Spanish outlet Sport claim that the 32-year-old has no interest in a move to North London despite Arteta’s attempts to convince him. Rakitic is reportedly reluctant to listen to offers from any club apart from Sevilla.
The Croatian spent three-and-a-half years at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium and was a favourite among supporters in Seville.
Rakitic is only open to a move to Sevilla and, if that doesn’t happen this summer, he prefers to see out the remainder of his contract at Barcelona before he can join his former club for free next term.
That, in a way, is bad news for Arsenal who now have to negotiate a different sort of deal to sell Guendouzi. The Gunners would allegedly prefer to sign Philippe Coutinho in exchange, but that might just prove to be a bit too expensive for them this summer.