Arsenal offer €40m for Barcelona pariah to beat Chelsea to Maresca’s ‘specific request’

Will Ford
Raphinha Chelsea Arsenal
Arsenal and Chelsea are battling for Raphinha again.

Arsenal have reportedly offered €40m for Barcelona star Raphinha, whose departure from the Nou Camp has been confirmed after the arrival of Hansi Flick.

Flick has replaced Xavi as Barcelona manager and will look to put his stamp on the squad this summer despite the La Liga side’s financial concerns.

It’s thought they will have to sell before they buy and Raphinha – who joined from Leeds for £50m in the summer of 2022 – is one of the players deemed surplus to requirements.

The 27-year-old has been linked with an exit near enough since he arrived at Barcelona, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all linked with a move for him in the past.

Arsenal over Chelsea

A report now claims that it’s Arsenal and Chelsea who retain a strong interest in the winger, whose ‘sale would open doors to new faces’ arriving this summer.

It’s claimed Raphinha ‘would find a family and competitive environment’ at Arsenal, who are ‘an attractive option’ due to their standing in the Premier League and the fact that he would be joining compatriots Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Magalhaes.

The Gunners are said to have ‘offered €40m’ but Barcelona are holding out for a fee closer to €60m.

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‘Specific request’ of Maresca

‘Chelsea is a more risky option’ but new head coach Enzo Maresca has apparently ‘specifically requested the incorpotation of the Brazilian winger’, who he sees as ‘a cornerstone on which to rebuild a new project and a key piece to revitalis the offensive plot’ of the club.

Cristiano Ronaldo’ Al-Nassr are the third team said to have put an ‘offer on the table’, though there are doubts as to how Raphinha would ‘adapt to a less competitive league’.

It’s Flick who has reportedly decided to send Raphinha packing, and the German boss will have plenty of further transfer decisions to make this summer, with very few members of the squad deemed untouchable as Barcelona look to climb out of a financial hole.

“It’s a big honour, a dream for me to sign my contract here,” Flick said on Wednesday when he was announced as the new Barca boss.

“We won some titles with Bayern Munich and my hunger is really big for titles.

“I would like to stay on this path with Barcelona and I think we can achieve a lot together and this is an important thing.

“The philosophy they have is similar to mine, lots of possession and really attacking football and these other things I love.”