Arsenal and Manchester City tried to sign Ivan Rakitic

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Arsenal and Manchester City both tried to lure Ivan Rakitic away from Barcelona in the January transfer window.

That's according to Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo, who say that the Croatian midfielder's lack of first team action prompted the Premier League giants to try and take advantage, however he opted to stay put.

Rakitic joined Barcelona from from Sevilla in the summer transfer window, but initially struggled to break into the starting XI. 

According to El Mundo Deportivo, the 26-year-old was tempted to jump ship from the Nou Camp but opted instead to turn down the offers from Manchester City and Arsenal, and fight for his place. It seems to have been the right decision given that Rakitic has received more first team chances since the end of January, and he's now started 15 La Liga games for the Catalan club.

Both Arsenal and Manchester City were linked with a move for Rakitic before he joined Barcelona, and were evidently keen on adding him to their squads in the January window. 

The Gunners have been in need of a defensive midfielder for some time now, and while Rakitic doesn't fit that description he would have been a quality addition for Arsene Wenger. Manchester City meanwhile could have done with the box-to-box player while Yaya Toure was away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

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