Premier League • England

Barcelona set Arsenal implausible Raphinha price tag as second £60m target told he ‘wouldn’t replace Partey’

Raphinha Barcelona during LaLiga game at Nou Camp, Barcelona, Catalonia

Barcelona coach Xavi has reportedly made it clear that he is unwilling to consider the sale of Raphinha this summer – unless an unseemingly high offer comes in for the Brazilian winger.

The forward moved to the Nou Camp last summer after shining during two seasons in the Premier League with Leeds. That move will eventually cost Barca a fee of £58m if all conditions are met, with the signing already looking like money well spent.

And while the winger took time to settle in his new surroundings, he has now established himself as a valued member of the squad. Indeed, Raphinha now has nine goals and eight assists to his name from 42 appearances.

However, despite Barcelona now closing in on a first domestic crown since 2018/19, doubts have continued to linger over Raphinha’s future.

Indeed, the club still needs to raise around €200m to pull themselves back inside FFP limitations. Furthermore, with the club reportedly hoping to re-sign Lionel Messi from PSG this summer, more concessions will need to be made.

As such, valued assets like Raphinha, as well as the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Ansu Fati, continue to find themselves linked with Premier League moves.

To that end, De Jong has been linked with Manchester United and Liverpool in recent weeks. Fati has found himself the subject of interest from Tottenham, while Raphinha is being strongly touted as a target for Arsenal and Newcastle.

Indeed, sales of all three men would likely considerably ease Barca’s financial perils.

However, previous claims that Barcelona could accept around £65m for Raphinha appear to have been dismissed.

READ MOREReal Madrid slap £1bn price tag on ‘extraordinary’ Arsenal target as Arteta sees transfer plan foiled

New Raphinha price to scare off Arsenal

And according to AS journalist Javi Miguel, Xavi is now putting a prohibitive price tag on the winger’s head.

Deeming the player virtually indispensable, Miguel claims only an extraordinary offer would convince Xavi to sell.

And believing the Brazilian will fare even better in his second season at the Nou Camp, he claims Barcelona would only listen to offers of over €90m (£79.5m).

That certainly appears above and beyond what Arsenal would be willing to spend. Indeed, with Bukayo Saka almost undroppable himself, Arsenal are unlikely to spend such money on such a player.

Instead, the Gunners are far more likely to use the cash to strengthen their central midfield and defence. Indeed, they remain firmly on the trail of Declan Rice. And any major outlay is likely to be reserved for a bid for the West Ham star.

That price tag is also likely to scare off Newcastle, who still need to keep an eye on FFP limitations themselves. And while they could raise capital by cashing in on Allan Saint-Maximim, a move for Raphinha appears unlikely.

Arsenal warned off move for Ruben Neves

One man who continues to be linked with Arsenal is Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves.

His deal at Molineux is due to expire in summer 2024. As such, the Portuguese star looks likely to be on the move this summer.

To that end, the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Barcelona are all reportedly keen.

Regarded as one of the Premier League’s elite midfielders, Wolves will reportedly demand as much as £60m for his services.

David Seaman, however, does not think the signing of Neves would significantly strengthen Arsenal.

And even if he did join, the legendary goalkeeper doesn’t think he could replace Thomas Partey in the side.

Speaking on his Seaman Says podcast, the 59-year-old was asked if Neves would get into the side if all were fit.

He replied: “No. [I’d pick] Partey. When he has been fit, he’s been proper hasn’t he?”

The Ghanaian’s form has dipped significantly in recent weeks, with the player making a high-profile mistake at West Ham. They will need him at his best on Wednesday when they travel to Manchester City for a decisive match.

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