Arsenal could look to take advantage of Barcelona’s ongoing financial troubles and try to sign ex-Leeds winger Raphinha this summer, according to reports.
The 26-year-old only joined the Catalans last summer and has put in some decent performances so far, but he may end up being sold as they look to generate as much money as possible.
Barcelona paid an initial fee of around £50m for Raphinha, with the player signing a five-year deal, but Arsenal could potentially bring him him for even less.
The Brazilian international has made 39 appearances across all competitions for the Spanish giants so far, netting nine times and making nine assists, giving him an impressive average of 0.46 goal contributions per game.
Indeed, Raphinha has played a key role in a tremendous season for Xavi’s team, who currently sit 12 points clear of fierce rivals Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga.
However, the winger could potentially swap one league leader for another this summer, with Mikel Arteta keen to bolster his squad ahead of next season.
Arsenal sporting director Edu made no secret that he wanted to sign Raphinha last summer.
According to transfer expert Pete O’Rourke, nothing has changed his mind in the subsequent months.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, he said: “I think there’s a possibility they could revisit the situation with Raphinha.
“It seems Arsenal sporting director Edu is a huge admirer of his fellow Brazilian.”
Barcelona’s recent financial issues have been well documented.
They had to sell club icon Lionel Messi to Paris Saint Germain in 2021 to balance the books, for example, as they could no longer afford his wages.
Last season, they managed to secure a second-place LaLiga finish but still ended up 13 points behind bitter rivals Real Madrid.
They also crashed out of the Champions League in the group stage, before being eliminated from Europa League in the quarter-finals.
European football has been disappointing for the Catalans again this term, with another group stage exit – before Manchester United knocked them out of the Europa League in the round of 32.
With Barca currently sitting top of LaLiga, they seemed to be on their way back to greatness under Xavi, but given their ongoing financial situation, there could be more shock departures this summer.
As a result, Arsenal could potentially capitalise on that, by sealing a cheap deal for Raphinha.
On that, O’Rourke added: “A lot will depend on what’s going on at Barcelona this summer.”
“If they need to sell players to raise funds, which it looks likely, Raphinha could be made available on the market.
“And I’m sure that will pique Arsenal’s interest if they think they can land the former Leeds man on a cheap deal.”
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