£60m Arsenal bid for Barcelona attacker emerges after he admits Gunners support; journalist details Xavi stance

Raphinha and Ansu Fati of Barcelona Credit: Alamy
Raphinha and Ansu Fati of Barcelona Credit: Alamy

Arsenal made a significant offer to sign Barcelona winger Raphinha in the January transfer window, with a journalist revealing exactly how the La Liga giants responded.

Raphinha left England in July last year by joining Barca from Leeds United in a £55million deal. Both Arsenal and Chelsea held talks with Leeds for him, but he only wanted to sign for Barca.

So far, Raphinha has managed seven goals and nine assists in 32 appearances for Xavi’s side. He appears to be enjoying his time at the Camp Nou. This is understandable after he pushed so hard to move there.

But on February 1, Spanish outlet Cadena Ser explained how Barca need to sell a valuable player to aid their financial problems. And Raphinha could be the player to be sold this summer.

Arsenal have been named as potential suitors given their previous interest in him. And Raphinha heightened those rumours by detailing his love for the Gunners during a recent interview.

When speaking with reporter Adri Contreras, the Brazilian was asked about which teams he has a fondness for. He replied (via Fabrizio Romano): “Other Spanish clubs I like? Only Barca.

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“Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are two clubs I like, outside Spain.”

This comment about Arsenal suggested they would be one of the frontrunners to sign him, should Barca put him up for sale.

Journalist reveals Arsenal bid for Raphinha

Journalist Alfredo Martinez, who works for Spanish newspaper Sport, has now provided an interesting update on Raphinha’s situation (via Sport Witness). He claims Arsenal made a €70million (£61.2m) bid for Raphinha in January. It was made up of an initial €58m (£51m) payment, plus the rest in add-ons.

Martinez explains how this would have been ‘good business’ for Barca. It would have been a big help to their financial woes. However, Xavi views Raphinha as being an important player for the future. He has asked club chiefs to sell another big name, rather than the 26-year-old, in order to help balance the books.

It seems Arsenal will struggle to land Raphinha any time soon as Xavi likes him a lot. But if Raphinha ever falls down the pecking order, then Arsenal will be one of his preferred destinations when pushing for a transfer. And he has shown in the past that he is not scared to put his foot down and only join a club he likes.

While Raphinha looks set to remain at Barca for the next few years, his attacking team-mate Ansu Fati could depart. Arsenal are interested in him too. Although, competition for his signature will come from Premier League rivals Manchester United and Liverpool.

Fati is keen to turn around his situation at Barca after a poor campaign. But with Barca needing to sell a valuable asset, he could become the next player on the chopping block.

Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka and William Saliba are not the only Arsenal stars in line for new contracts as Edu now wants to tie down one of the leaders in the dressing room.

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