Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic claims he was urged to sign for the club from Sevilla by his international partner and Real Madrid superstar, Luka Modric.

The two Croatians have gone on to star for the Spanish giants in recent years and the Barca man has confirmed he has discussions with the Real star during his last season in Seville about a move to either of the clubs.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Asked whether Modric had tried to persuade him to move to the Bernabeu, Rakitic told Cadena Ser, as per  ESPN: "Before, when I was with Sevilla, he did. It would be more difficult now!"

Rakitic went on to add that he believes the former Tottenham midfielder would fit in seamlessly at Barca: "He's a person I respect a lot. Of course he's capable of playing for Barca, because for me he is one of the top three players in the world in his position.

"I enjoy playing with him a lot and, with complete respect to everyone else, we see a different Madrid when he's there and when he's not."

After Luis Enrique's side completed their sensational comeback against Paris Saint-Germain, winning 6-1 in the Nou Camp to overcome a four-goal deficit, Rakitic signed a new contract with the club.

The midfielder was just one of the many stars the club are targeting with new deals as Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta also look set to extend their stay.

"It's difficult to imagine Barca without Iniesta," Rakitic said. "It's like Barca without Xavi. It's really difficult, almost impossible. As for Messi, what he has here at Barcelona is something which money can't buy. I'm sure that he's really keen to stay."