Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic was approached by Real Madrid during the summer transfer window to find out whether he would consider a shocking move to the Catalans' arch-enemies, according to Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish publication claimed that Croatian international quickly turned down the proposal, having previously reported that Manchester United, Chelsea and Juventus also tried to secure his services.
Rakitic, 28, joined Barcelona in the summer of 2014 after garnering a reputation as one of the best midfielders around Europe during his time at Sevilla. Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and United reportedly battled for his services but the Croatian opted to move to the Catalans instead.
The midfielder has since become a crucial player for Luis Enrique, filling the huge gap left by Xavi Hernandez in the middle of the park to form an impressive trident along with Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta.
But his untouchable position in the Barcelona line-up came under scrutiny during the summer after Enrique add competition to the midfield with the big-money signing of Andre Gomes and the return of Denis Suarez from Villarreal – despite already having Rafinha, Sergi Roberto and Arda Turan to back up the starting trio.
Mundo Deportivo claims that Real Madrid took advantage of the situation to tempt him with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu. Los Blancos didn't launch a formal offer but "Rakitic's entourage received a call from a Real Madrid chief executive" to know whether he would consider such a move.
The Spanish publication recalled that Real Madrid already tried to sign Rakitic from Sevilla in 2014 in order to partner him with his compatriot Luka Modric. However, the Croatian said no then and gave the same answer this summer.
Last month, Mundo Deportivo reported that Rakitic turned down offers from Manchester United, Chelsea and Juventus during the summer transfer window to remain at the Nou Camp. Yet, the Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu recently revealed the Catalans are ready to hand the Croatian international a new long-term deal as a reward for his commitment.
During the summer it was reported that Real Madrid, along with Paris Saint Germain and Manchester United, also made an approach to sign Neymar, before the Brazilian opted instead to sign a new long-term deal at the Nou Camp.