Real Madrid fans were left disappointed this summer when club president Florentino Perez decided against bidding for Paul Pogba.
The Frenchman had been made available by his club Juventus and Zinedine Zidane was open in his desire to sign him.
However, Los Blancos quickly decided that they could not compete with Manchester United and moved onto alternative targets. They were linked with several stars including Pogba's international team-mates Moussa Sissoko and N'Golo Kante but the transfer window came and went without a notable arrival.
That was not through a lack of trying, at least according to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo. They claim that the Bernabeu club made an audacious attempt to sign Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic in the transfer window.
With doubts over James Rodriguez and Isco, it seems a creative midfielder was at the top of Zidane's wish list. With Pogba out of the question, Rakitic may have been seen as a cheaper alternative. But such is the rivalry between the two clubs, the would have surely realised their chances of signing the Croatian were slim.
Regardless, an official from Real Madrid contacted Rakitic directly to ask if he would be interested in moving across the two La Liga juggernauts. For the second time in his career, the midfielder said no.
He was first offered the chance to wear the famous white shirt when leaving Sevilla in 2014. Back then, he had a host of offers from around Europe but chose to replace Cesc Fabregas at Barcelona.
However, with Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez arriving at Camp Nou in the summer, there was an impression that Rakitic's first-team role would diminish. Not only that but Barcelona's financial situation was failing to improve.
Real Madrid sensed an opportunity but they were wrong.
It echoes the attempt Real Madrid made to lure Neymar away from Barcelona in 2014. With doubts over a new contract, the Brazilian courted interest from other clubs in an attempt to gain leverage.
He has since signed a deal until 2021, leaving Real Madrid searching for alternative options for their next Galactico.
Any Barcelona player who considers making such a move should seek the advice of Luis Figo, who made the controversial switch in 2000 for a world-record £40m. So intense was the rivalry, Barcelona fans famously threw a pig's head at him from the stands in an El Clasico match.
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