Former Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo had personally contacted him in 2020, urging him to join Italian powerhouse Juventus.
Speaking to 24sata (via Football Italia), Rakitic lifted the lid on his Barcelona exit in 2020. He stated that a move to Juventus could have gone through if not for his team's asking price.
Barcelona had slapped a €50 million transfer fee on the aging Rakitic, which Juventus refused to pay. He eventually moved to Sevilla, where he amassed a total of 50 appearances across all competitions in the recently concluded season. Rakitic has also scored eight goals so far in his second spell in Seville to add to his wealth of experience.
The Croatian remained at Barcelona until 2020 as no team managed to match Barcelona's valuation, and left last year for just €1.5 million.
Disclosing the situation and Ronaldo's request, he noted:
“In the summer of 2019, Cristiano called me personally to suggest I go to Juve. He told me that the club wanted me too, but the transfer didn’t go through. Barcelona were asking for €50m and it was too much.”
The former Barcelona man went on was lavish with his praise for Ronaldo, as he added:
“Ronaldo is one of the greatest of all time. You really enjoy watching him and what he’s doing at Juventus.”
Rakitic, 33, is currently under contract at Sevilla until 2024. Ronaldo, meanwhile, is entering the final year of his initial four-year deal with Juventus.
Should Juventus have signed Barcelona's Rakitic?
A host of clubs across Europe were reportedly keen to snap up Rakitic. While Juventus couldn't land him in 2019, they managed to secure the services of Arthur Melo from Barcelona in 2020.
Arthur, 24, was part of a deal that saw Miralem Pjanic move the other way. Having made 22 Serie A appearances, Arthur is considered a potential future star by a section of Bianconeri fans.
Rakitic, meanwhile, excelled in his first season back at Sevilla. The former Barcelona midfielder will be hoping to help his club to another top four finish in La Liga this season.
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