It’s not quite Philippe Coutinho, but Barcelona midfielder Rafinha could be one option for Arsenal this summer – as a report has claimed the Gunners are keeping tabs on the Brazilian.
Mikel Arteta’s side are preparing for a tumultuous and uncertain summer, but despite their obvious budgetary constraints and the further complications of the coronavirus crisis, they remain keen to strengthen their midfield when the transfer window reopens.
At Barcelona, meanwhile, the priority seems to be moving players on in order to raise some cash. The Catalan giants are seemingly dead set on a move for Inter’s Lautaro Martinez, apparently undeterred by the widely reported €111m release clause the Italian side are demanding – while that long-awaited move for Neymar has never been too far away from the headlines.
Barca have some financial problems of their own, so if they are to complete either of those deals, it’s likely a fair wedge of the outlay will have to be generated in the transfer market. Which brings us to Rafinha, who Mundo Deportivo say is one of several players the club are planning to offload.
The 27-year-old is something of a forgotten man; after coming through the youth ranks at the Spanish champions, he once showed exceptional promise, but has struggled to make the jump into becoming a first-team regular. He has spent this season out on loan at Celta de Vigo, where, again, he has flattered to deceive.
Celta, it’s said, maintain a €16m option to buy, but MD reckon his long-term future could lie elsewhere – either in Italy or the Premier League.
barcacentre (from 🏡)
Barcelona are looking to sell Todibo, Rafinha, Wagué and Vidal to get funds, while Semedo and Junior will likely enter an operation this summer. [md]
It’s claimed that Arsenal and Inter are both keen, with the Italian side perhaps having the edge after the player enjoyed a productive loan spell at San Siro during the tail end of the 2017/18 campaign.
Whether Rafinha could be used as a pawn in any potential bid for Martinez remains to be seen, but he is not one of the players the Spanish outlet do not list him as an option on that front; naming only Arthur Melo and Junior Firpo as having been offered to Inter.
The report also claims that Jean-Clair Tobido, currently on loan at Schalke, is attracting interest from Everton, but that an offer is yet to be made. That conflicts with reports from the Mail this week which claimed the Toffees had made an ‘ultimatum’ offer of £22m.