Raphinha: Arsenal receive double blow as La Liga insider interprets Barcelona stance and winger makes admission after first trophy
Arsenal have been linked with a swoop for Raphinha after missing out on Mykhaylo Mudryk, but two factors are working against their favour, it has emerged.
Raphinha joined Barcelona in the summer, leaving Leeds United after two seasons in the Premier League. Before he ended up in La Liga, the Brazil international was attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea.
But it was Barcelona who won the race after all. Raphinha proceeded to spark some excitement in pre-season and his first few competitive matches for the club. However, he soon went off the boil.
Indeed, Raphinha only has three goals to his name from 23 Barcelona appearances so far. In his defence, he has also provided five assists. But overall, he hasn’t quite hit expectations yet.
It has led some suitors like Arsenal to think they might have a chance of luring him away from Camp Nou prematurely.
The Gunners want to add to their attack and spent a long time pursuing Mykhaylo Mudryk. However, the Ukrainian winger has signed for their London rivals Chelsea instead.
Therefore, the Premier League leaders need to find an alternative. With that in mind, a few sources have suggested talks are underway regarding Raphinha.
However, there have been warnings that Barcelona would demand a transfer fee far superior to what they paid Leeds six months ago, despite his apparent downturn in form.
And now, La Liga insider Semra Hunter has explained that “nobody is talking about a departure for Raphinha” in Spain.
In a clip posted on Football Daily, Hunter said that Raphinha “really started coming under a lot of criticism as well because a lot of the Barcelona fans were not happy with what they were seeing from him and it was below par and below what was expected of him as well considering how well he had done when he first hit the ground running.
“But since the World Cup actually, the last couple of weeks, his form has started to come back and he has played reasonably well – I think well enough that Xavi would be quite happy to keep him at the club.
“I don’t know if Barcelona will be taking it seriously looking to bring him back over to the Premier League or not. But at this point in time, at least in Spain, nobody is talking about a departure for Raphinha, at least in the short term.
“Maybe in the summer, but at least for right now it’s not really a point of conversation.”
Raphinha indicates future plans after Barcelona trophy lift
Besides, Raphinha is under contract with Barcelona until 2027. There are plenty of things he wants to achieve before his time in Catalonia comes to an end.
His most recent appearance was in the Spanish Supercopa final against Real Madrid on Sunday. He came on for the last 12 minutes of El Clasico as Barcelona won 3-1.
And after the game, he indicated that he wants to win more honours with the club, rather than move somewhere else.
He said: “This is my first trophy with this giant club, this enormous shirt of FC Barcelona. It’s incredible. And so now we go for more trophies.”
After 16 games, Barcelona are top of the La Liga table. Therefore, they seem well placed to push on for the extra success Raphinha is wanting.
Arsenal are on track to make this a memorable season in north London, too. But if they are to get over the finishing line, they may have to do so with players other than Raphinha.
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