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Premier League • England

Edu favourite still on Arsenal radar as report outlines why bargain summer deal could become reality

Raphinha and Ansu Fati of Barcelona

A report claims Arsenal may look to take advantage of the financial situation at Barcelona and try to land winger Raphinha in the summer transfer window.

The 26-year-old is currently in his first season with the Catalans after joining from Leeds United last summer. The Brazil international excelled in two seasons at Elland Road, catching the eye of the Spanish giants. Barca paid an initial fee of around £50m and have seen a decent return on their outlay.

The former Rennes star has enjoyed 15 starts among 25 top-flight outings, netting six goals.

And he has also seen plenty of action in Europe, with five Champions League outings and two in the Europa League.

Barca’s European adventure is over for this term but they are streets ahead in the league. Xavi’s men are 12 points clear of fierce rivals Real Madrid.

Raphinha has played his part after inking a five-year deal at the Nou Camp.

Arsenal sporting director Edu made no secret of the fact he wanted to sign the South American last summer.

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And journalist Peter O’Rourke feels nothing has changed in the subsequent months.

“I think there’s a possibility they could revisit the situation with Raphinha,” he told GiveMeSport. “It seems Arsenal sporting director Edu is a huge admirer of his fellow Brazilian.”

Barca may need to sell Raphinha

Barcelona’s recent financial troubles have been well documented. They had to sell superstar forward Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2021 to help balance the books.

They could not afford the Argentina star’s wages and struggled in his absence.

A second-place LaLiga finish was commendable given the turmoil at the club but they ended up 13 points behind champions Real.

Europe offered no solace as Barca went out of the Champions League in the group stage. They were then eliminated from the Europa League in the last-eight.

European football has also been disappointing this season, with another Champions League group stage exit. Manchester United then saw them off in the Europa League round of 32.

However, things are rosy in LaLiga. But, it seems as though it may be another summer of change at the club as financial issues are ongoing.

O’Rourke believes Arsenal will be monitoring the situation closely, with all eyes on whether their former target becomes available.

And the north Londoners may be able to land the former Sporting star for a knockdown price.

“A lot will depend on what’s going on at Barcelona this summer,” he added. “If they need to sell players to raise funds, which it looks likely, Raphinha could be made available on the market.

“And I’m sure that will pique Arsenal’s interest if they think they can land the former Leeds man on a cheap deal.”

Having starred for Leeds, Raphinha knows all about the Premier League. And Arsenal are now a big draw, with Mikel Arteta’s men in pole position to land a first Premier League title since 2003-2004.

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