Manchester City linked with move for Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic

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TOP STORY: Guardiola targeting Rakitic?

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is ready to return to his old club to sign midfielder Ivan Rakitic, according to multiple reports.

Rakitic was left out of Barcelona’s squad for Sunday’s La Liga trip to Villarreal, with the Croatia international in and out of the team in recent weeks having been an ever-present since signing from Sevilla in 2014.

The Star says he could now be heading for City in a £42 million move despite interest from rivals Manchester United.

And Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List says Guardiola wants to bring in the 28-year-old after losing Germany international Ilkay Gundogan to injury, having decided he is his “preferred choice.”

Barca boss Luis Enrique moved to play down speculation following Sunday’s draw with Villarreal, saying “information which comes out in the media is not even 25 percent reliable.”

But on Monday, Sky Sports reported that its sources understood City were not interested in trying to bring in Rakitic.