Arsenal ‘ready to pounce’ as Barcelona ‘have to cash in’ on Spurs target despite player’s ‘refusal’

Jason Soutar
Barcelona duo Lamine Yamal and Raphinha celebrate a goal.
Lamine Yamal and Raphinha celebrate a goal.

Arsenal are among those interested in Barcelona winger Raphinha, who has to be sold “to help balance the books” at the Nou Camp, according to reports.

Raphinha made himself known to fans of the Premier League after joining Leeds United from French club Rennes for around £17million in the 2020 summer transfer window.

Raphinha to Arsenal?

He enjoyed two fantastic years at Elland Road, establishing himself as one of the best wingers in the country.

The Brazilian international left Leeds to join Barcelona for a fee in the region of £55m in July 2022.

Arsenal and Chelsea were extremely interested in signing Raphinha, who made it clear that a move to the Blaugrana was his priority.

The Gunners had a couple of bids rejected by Leeds, while the Blues had an offer accepted before Xavi’s side won the race for the winger’s signature.

It has not been plain sailing for Raphinha in Catalonia, struggling to win over fans in his first 18 months at the Nou Camp.

This has resulted in plenty of rumours again linking him with a move to Arsenal or Chelsea, while Tottenham and Newcastle United are also believed to be monitoring the 27-year-old.

A report from Spanish outlet Sport reveals that Raphinha’s form this year has boosted his chances of staying at Barcelona, with the Brazilian ‘refusing’ to leave.

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He might not have much of a choice, however, as per Football Insider journalist Pete O’Rourke, who says he will be forced out as Barca desperately look to raise funds.

The La Liga giants’ financial concerns have been in focus for several years now and Raphinha is frequently reported in Spain as a player that will be moved on to help balance the books.

This theme continues here, with O’Rourke claiming that Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs are teams to watch, although his salary in Catalonia means a move to Saudi Arabia is “more likely”, despite Fabrizio Romano teasing us in his CaughtOffside column by claiming the Gunners are ‘ready to pounce’.

O’Rourke told the Inside Track Podcast: “As part of Barcelona’s financial problems, they’re going to have to cash in on Raphinha this summer to help balance the books.

“For Premier League fans, it’d be great to see Raphinha back in England after his standout time at Leeds.

“There’s been lots of talk about Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea coming in for him.

“But if Saudi Arabian clubs come in with the right offer for him, I can see Barcelona snapping their hands off.

“He’s also on a big wage at Barcelona, so I think English sides would struggle to match those demands.

“Saudi Arabia is the more likely move.

“Tottenham, in particular, are well-stocked with wide players.

“Raphinha would definitely be an asset for Spurs if they could fund a move and did follow up their interest.”

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