Arsenal interested in Raphinha
Although Arsenal signed Leandro Trossard from Brighton & Hove Albion in January to complement Gabriel Martinelli and Buyako Saka in attack, Pete O’Rourke of Football Insider says Mikel Arteta is on the hunt for another wide man – Raphinha.
The 26-year-old joined Barcelona from Leeds United in 2022 and has gone on to make 45 appearances in all competitions, scoring 10 goals with 11 assists. He’s had a hand in 13 goals from 31 La Liga games across the board this season, so it’s easy to see why Arsenal would want him.
Raphinha is a regular at Barca with nine starts from their last 10 league games while having four years remaining on his deal, but his future may be up in the air. Arsenal will be in the Champions League next season and need a squad capable of challenging on all four fronts, so Raphinha would be a good addition to the attack.
The Brazilian international, who has five goals and four assists from 16 caps for his country, may not want to leave Barca as he’s got an important role under Xavi. Raphinha regularly starts over Ousmane Dembéle, Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati, so he’ll be a difficult player to lure away from the Camp Nou.
Messi to replace Raphinha?
O’Rourke says Barca would move Raphinha on to bring Lionel Messi back to the club and want up to £60m for his signature. They paid £55m for the 26-year-old last year and agreed a deal worth £5.2m-a-year/£100k-per-week, so Arsenal would have to pay a tidy sum.
But if the Gunners fail in their pursuit of Raphinha, Arteta still has an attack most clubs would love to inherit – Saka (14 goals and 11 assists from 44 games), Martinelli (15 goals and six assists from 44 games), Trossard (one goal and eight assists from 18 games). Even Reiss Nelson has contributed six goals in less than 600 minutes, so the Gunners have depth in the final third.
Arsenal are second in the Premier League scoring charts this campaign with 78 goals from 33 games, but the London outfit aren’t resting on their laurels. Arteta’s men would be greatly feared if they added Raphinha to their star-studded frontline next season, so time will tell if they do.
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