A Barcelona climbdown has greatly increased the chances they’ll sell a lively attacker this summer, and Tottenham have reportedly emerged as a credible threat to Arsenal and Newcastle in the transfer race.
Barcelona’s financial strife has been well documented in recent years. However, despite their precarious situation, Barca are pressing ahead with numerous vitally important deals this summer.
Man City pair Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva are both wanted. Gundogan is the likeliest of the two to join given he is an impending free agent.
Elsewhere, Spanish outlet AS reiterate four huge deals are on the agenda.
Firstly, tying Gavi and Ronald Araujo down to new contracts is a must. Both have previously put pen to paper, though LaLiga has refused to ratify their latest deals and as such, both stars have reverted to their prior contracts.
Araujo is understood to be upset by how the situation has been handled, though Barcelona are confident the wrinkles will soon be ironed out. The same is true of Gavi who is courting ambitious interest from Chelsea.
Elsewhere, a new deal for left-back Alejandro Balde is on the cards, while the blockbuster return of Lionel Messi is also wanted.
A raft of high profile exits will be required if Barcelona are to complete their grand plans. LaLiga president, Javier Tebas, previously claimed Barca must raise €200m before being allowed to both sign new players and register deals for pre-existing stars, such as Gavi and Araujo.
One player previously labelled ‘non-transferable’ by Barcelona was Brazil winger Raphinha. However, according to AS, a change of heart and a desire to conduct further business could see the 26-year-old sacrificed.
Adding to that narrative is the feeling in Catalonia Raphinha hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. He’s bagged nine goals and 10 assists in 43 matches, though that pales in comparison to Vinicius Jr over at the Bernabeu, for example (22 goals and 19 assists).
AS report Barca chiefs might be receptive to cashing in on Raphinha just one year after he was plucked from Leeds Utd. Their only requirement before sanctioning a sale is a ‘good offer’ be lodged.
Raphinha was signed for around £55m (including add-ons) and it stands to reason Barca would demand at least a small profit.
Tottenham enter Raphinha race as Barcelona wobble
On the subject of who could pounce, Arsenal have drawn persistent links having bid for Raphinha during the last summer window. Their interest is understood to have maintained, while Mundo Deportivo claimed Newcastle will ‘spare no expense’ with their own chase.
However, AS add the new name of Tottenham and signing Raphinha would be a perfect welcoming gift for whoever Daniel Levy appoints as his club’s next manager.
Raphinha greatly prefers playing on the right wing – a position currently held by Dejan Kulusevski.
However, the Sweden international has struggled in his second season with Spurs, notching just two goals and six assists in 24 EPL outings.
AS conclude that despite Barca’s previous posturing that Raphinha was not for sale, the Brazilian’s case is now very much ‘open’.