Arsenal would be interested in signing Barcelona winger Raphinha if he were to be made available for transfer this summer as he could solve one remaining issue for Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners have spent big on deals for Jurrien Timber, Declan Rice and Kai Havertz already this window. Elsewhere, new contracts have been signed by William Saliba and Reiss Nelson.
With Champions League football back on the menu and Arsenal determined to compete on multiple fronts, high quality strength in depth is a must.
Speaking exclusively to TEAMtalk, Arsenal insider Charles Watts said the Gunners would “absolutely be interested” in signing Raphinha if Barca decided to put him up for sale.
The Brazilian plays primarily on the right side and given he’s left-footed, would represent like-for-like competition for Saka.
Watts stressed Barcelona don’t appear likely to put Raphinha on the market as he remains highly regarded at the Camp Nou just one year removed from his £55m arrival from Leeds.
However, a right winger the calibre of Raphinha would remedy the last issue bugging Arteta – providing stiff competition for Saka.
Arsenal want Raphinha, but Barcelona need convincing
“Arsenal would absolutely be interested in him if he was on the market,” said Watts. “I just don’t think Barcelona are going to let him go this summer.
“They still very much believe that Raphinha can make a big impact for them. So I don’t think they’re going to consider letting him go and I think he very much wants to stay at Barcelona.
“But I think it’d be an absolutely perfect signing for Arsenal, signing someone to cover for Saka and provide competition.
“The key thing for them now, after the brilliant work they’ve done so far in the transfer window, the one area they must sort out is that Saka is still basically on his own out on that right-hand side.
“And I think Raphinha would be perfect; he’s got the character play for Arsenal, he’s got the personality to play for Arsenal, he’s got the quality to play for Arsenal, and he ticks a lot of boxes in terms of the way he plays and the intensity he plays with.
“I thought he showed real personality in a really struggling Leeds team. And he basically single-handedly kept him up that season in the Premier League.
“It’d be perfect for Arsenal but I just don’t think that it would be possible this summer because I think Barcelona are going to keep him.”