Tottenham are reportedly exploring a January deal to bring Raphinha back to the Premier League from Barcelona after it was claimed they would abandon their interest in Ivan Toney to push through a deal for the former Leeds winger.
The Brazil star has endured something of a stop-start spell in Catalonia since a £55m switch from Leeds in summer 2022. Raphinha spent much of his first season battling Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati for a place on the right of Xavi’s attack, though still managed to finish his debut season in Spain with 10 goals and 10 assists from 50 appearances.
However, this season Raphinha appears to have fallen down the pecking order owing to the emergence of teenage sensation and generational talent Lamine Yamal and the re-emergence of Ferran Torres, who had appeared out the picture under Xavi last season.
And whenever Raphinha has been given the chance to play, the Brazilian has come in for unnecessary stick from supporters, with the winger perhaps guilty of trying too hard to impress.
Earlier this month it was reported that Barcelona could be open to the possible sale of the former Leeds man.
And with the Blaugrana looking to fund the permanent signings of both Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix – both of whom have come into the club and impressed while on loan – it could be Raphinha who makes way.
Barcelona, for their part, are reportedly making it clear they are open to Raphinha’s sale to the tune of around €70m (£61.3m) – a small profit on the fee they spent on prising him to Catalonia from West Yorkshire.
Prior to his move to Barca, Raphinha held talks with both Chelsea and Arsenal.
Barcelona want Spurs star in exchange for Raphinha
Now it is claimed, however, that Tottenham are leading the charge for him amid claims by Football Transfers that talks over a move to bring him to N17 could soon get underway.
Indeed, Ange Postecoglou’s side are described as having a ‘concrete interest’ in bringing the 26-year-old back to the Premier League in January.
And with the winter window officially opening for business in just 44 days, Raphinha’s dream move to Barcelona could be set to end after just 18 months.
Furthermore, Barcelona will not stand in the way of Raphinha’s sale to Spurs with a firm approach from Postecoglou likely to get Barcelona talking and to the negotiating table.
Interestingly, it’s claimed Tottenham may not have to fork out the entire €70m asking price for the winger amid reports Xavi wants to take Tottenham defender Cristian Romero in a straight swap.
Romero has raised his game and established himself as one of the Premier League’s best defenders under Postecoglou’s watch. However, the Argentine still does have that reckless streak to his game, as displayed recently by his very-avoidable red-card offence against Chelsea.
However, it’s now claimed Xavi would be interested in signing the World Cup winner in a straight swap.
Spurs to abandon Ivan Toney chase
Despite Barca’s willingness to sign Romero, a swap deal will likely be batted away by Postecoglou, who does have the finances to secure Raphinha’s signature.
And so keen are Spurs to get their hands on Raphinha, they are willing to shelve their interest in signing Brentford striker Ivan Toney in January.
Postecoglou still needs a new central striker to replace Harry Kane. But amid claims Toney is happy to stay loyal to Brentford by signing a new deal, Spurs may well abandon that chase and instead put all their energies into signing Raphinha.
Raphinha has featured 11 times for Barca this season, scoring two goals and adding two assists. His deal at the Nou Camp is not due to expire until summer 2027.