Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have been handed another opportunity to sign Raphinha with the winger reportedly for sale just six months after joining Barcelona. The three London clubs were heavily linked to signing the then Leeds star last summer having hugely impressed at Elland Road for the last couple of seasons.
Chelsea were the side that came closest after agreeing a fee with Leeds, only for the player to rebuff their advances as he held out for a move to Barcelona. In the end, Raphinha got his dream transfer to the Camp Nou for £55million, but the move has not worked out, with the 26-year-old scoring just three goals and five assists in 21 games so far.
And now, reports in Spain claim that Barcelona are already prepared to sell the Brazil international, as well as two other underperforming stars, in order to help balance the books. Despite already having huge financial worries, the La Liga giants gambled and spent around £150m last summer, but the failure to qualify for the Champions League knockouts for a second consecutive season has hurt their income.
As well as Raphinha, it is said that former Manchester City forward Ferran Torres is also available for a transfer, having failed to impress Xavi in the year since he left the Etihad for £49m. Most surprisingly, the third player reportedly up for sale is academy graduate Ansu Fati who has often been touted as the future of the club and already has an impressive goal record despite being just 20-years-old. It remains to be seen who, if anyone, will try to sign Raphinha in January, after Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham pursued other targets.
While the Gunners failed to sign a winger last summer, they have turned their full attention to Shakhtar star Mykhailo Mudryk. Spurs ended up signing Raphinha’s Brazil teammate Richarlison from Everton and while they could do with some more firepower, it seems unlikely they’ll return for the former Leeds man.
That leaves Chelsea, who also need new forwards with the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and even summer signing Raheem Sterling struggling to make an impact. The Blues are unlikely to move for Raphinha again though, at least not in January, given they have just signed Joao Felix on loan and already spent over £315m this season on transfers. Of course this is all just speculation, and if Xavi’s words are anything to go by he may indeed be sticking around Barcelona, with the manager saying:
‘He is open to playing where necessary. In fact, we talked a couple of weeks ago. ‘It’s going to be important. It’s been even more so coming off the bench. He always comes out well. It’s going to be important, I have no doubts.’