Ivan Rakitic was wanted by Man United and Chelsea

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Ivan Rakitic has made an impressive start to the new campaign for Barcelona, featuring prominently in all of their matches so far.

However, he could have easily been a Premier League player when the season kicked off a few weeks ago as it has been revealed two English clubs were chasing his signature this summer.

Rakitic's future at the Camp Nou looked unclear back in May after the unusually high frequency of games where he was substituted off by Luis Enrique nevertheless, there was no firm evidence the player was actually unhappy.

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But, despite receiving offers to leave La Liga over the course of the summer, the Croatian remained loyal to the Spanish champions.According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, it is believed both Manchester United and Chelsea had attempted to entice Rakitic to join them.

The offers received were thought to be 'important economically' - suggesting Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte were both prepared to spend big but neither were tempting enough to persuade the 28-year-old into making a move.

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Mundo claim that Juventus were also interested in making Rakitic Paul Pogba's replacement in Turin once the Red Devils had broke the transfer record to bring the Frenchman back to Old Trafford.

And it looks like this summer may prove to have been United and Chelsea's best opportunity to negotiate a possible transfer as Barcelona are now expected to offer Rakitic a new deal.

The midfielder's current deal doesn't expire until 2018 but given his impressive start to the season and the knowledge that clubs around Europe have already made attempts to poach him, it makes sense to tie Rakitic down to a longer contract.

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Ivan Rakitic
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