Huge transfer boost for Arsenal as winger ‘wants to leave’ Barcelona as ‘bids start’ at £51m

Joe Williams
Arsenal target Raphinha looks over his shoulder

Arsenal could have a chance of signing Barcelona winger Raphinha with reports claiming he ‘wants to leave’ in the January transfer window.

The Gunners are on the lookout for a new winger in the January transfer window after missing out on Shakhtar Donetsk’s Mykhaylo Mudryk to Premier League rivals Chelsea.

It is understood that Arsenal were prepared to pay €100m for the Ukraine international but the “schedule of payments and bonuses were better” in Chelsea’s offer.

And now Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu are exploring other options with Raphinha, Ferran Torres, Leandro Trossard and Kaoru Mitoma among the names linked.

Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-1 in the Spanish Super Cup to give Raphinha his first silverware in his short time at the Camp Nou.

On winning, the Brazilian told reporters: “This is my first trophy with this giant club, this enormous shirt of FC Barcelona — it’s incredible. And so now we go for more trophies.”

However, Spanish publication Nacional now claim that Raphinha ‘wants to leave’ Barcelona with Mikel Arteta ‘asking Arsenal’ to secure the signing.

Raphinha left Leeds United in the summer transfer window after the 26-year-old contributed 11 goals and three assists in 35 Premier League appearances last term.

But the Brazil international has only made seven starts in La Liga for Xavi’s side with Raphinha making eight more league appearances off the bench.

Barcelona is said to be ‘very aware of the interest that Arsenal has shown in him in the last few hours’ with the Gunners making Raphinha their ‘second option’ after missing out on Mudryk.

After seeing how much Arsenal were ‘willing to spend’ on Mudryk it is unlikely Barcelona will allow Raphinha to go on the cheap with the Catalan giants insisting ‘bids start’ at €58m (£51m).

The report adds that Barcelona are ‘willing to listen to offers’ a Raphinha is failing to ‘justify’ his summer price tag.

There were claims yesterday that Arsenal are now ‘confident’ of beating off interest from rivals to land West Ham midfielder Declan Rice in the summer.

And now transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has brought an update on the situation, he wrote in his Caught Offside column: “I’m told that nothing will be decided now for Declan Rice, also because the player is not leaving in January as things stand. But for sure Arsenal have an interest, as has been reported, and they discussed Declan internally.

“He’s appreciated by many clubs including Chelsea. But again, it will take time to see where Declan will go; no discussions have taken place on the player’s side yet.”

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