Sky Sports man hints Arsenal could reignite their interest in La Liga forward star this summer

Ciaran McCarthy
Raphinha, Karim Benzema, Barcelona, Real Madrid, March 2023

Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth has hinted at the potential of Arsenal returning for Raphinha, as Barcelona may have to “get wages off the books” this summer.

Raphinha was a target of Arsenal’s, along with a number of other sides, last summer. That followed a second top season at Leeds United, in which he scored 11 times and provided three assists despite the Whites struggling.

While the Gunners were in the mix, Barcelona were the side that gained the services of the forward. That deal was reported to be worth in the region of £55million initially.

The forward has impressed at his new side this season. He’s missed just two La Liga games, having scored seven times and assisted on six occasions.

Indeed, it seems the relationship between the player and his new side is running smoothly. However, that won’t stop another side from trying to snatch him, which is what Sky Sports man Sheth thinks Arsenal could do, following their previous interest.

“I still think the right forward position is probably an area that they do want to strengthen as well,” he told GIVEMESPORT.

“Bukayo Saka has done unbelievably well as we all know, but we do also know that last summer they tried to get Raphinha and I wonder if they will go for him again.”

Sheth cites Barcelona’s current situation as a reason they could entertain the sale. Indeed, their finances haven’t been in the best shape of late, with a lot of behind-the-scenes moves having to be done so that the books are balanced.

With a potential return of Lionel Messi on the cards, though unlikely it might seem, some of the more expensive players in the squad would surely need to make way.

“I think Barcelona is a club that intrigues everyone and is one to look at this summer,” Sheth added.

“Because if Messi was to make that incredible return, he’s not going to be cheap and you would guess that there would have to be departures to get wages off the books at Barcelona.

“Could Raphinha be one of those that could be allowed to leave and would Arsenal revisit that? It’s going to be really, really interesting this summer I think.”

The Gunners’ interest in Raphinha was before Saka had cemented himself as one of the best players in the league.

However, the Brazilian would certainly be a good asset for any side to have, with reference to his output both at Leeds and Barcelona. What’s more, sides that regularly challenge for titles have quality players spilling out all over the pitch.

As such, while the forward line has seemed pretty hard to get into for much of this season, having a quality option to call upon on occasion and give competition to the other members of the squad wouldn’t be a bad thing for Arsenal.

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