Barcelona have reportedly offered Arsenal the chance to sign versatile Brazilian midfielder Rafinha this summer.
According to a report in Sky Sports, Arsenal have been offered the chance to buy Rafinha from Barcelona in this summer’s transfer window. The Blaugrana are willing to listen to offers in excess of €30 million, although club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said last week that the player would not be sold.
Rafinha joined the fabled La Masia academy at Barcelona as a 13-year-old, gradually progressing through the ranks at the club before finally making the senior grade in 2014. Since then, the player has managed to establish himself as a key figure in the Catalan club’s first-team setup.
But while the Brazil international has managed to be an influential member of the senior side, he is not one of the first-names on the team sheet, often filtering in and out of the starting eleven. Nevertheless, Rafinha made 28 appearances in all competitions for Barcelona last season, with a return of 7 goals and 5 assists to show for his efforts.
However, with the World Cup less than a year away, it is quite possible that the player could seek pastures anew this summer in order to make the Brazil national squad. Additionally, with Barcelona eyeing reinforcements in midfield, the club have also decided to offload Rafinha, as per the report.
They have, thus, offered Arsenal the chance to sign the versatile midfielder this summer. The Gunners are seeking additions in midfield and attack this summer with the futures of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez mired in heavy uncertainty.
Rafinha, with his abilities on the ball, is a perfect fit in Arsene Wenger’s sleek style of play, and his versatility makes him a potential solution as a midfielder, winger as well as a wing-back. Should the Ox leave, Rafinha could challenge Hector Bellerin to be the first-choice right wing-back.
Sanchez’s departure, on the other hand, could see him partnering Mesut Ozil as the attacking midfielder. Additionally, he could also become an additional option at the heart of midfield, where Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey are the preferred choices currently.
The report suggests that Barcelona would be willing to sell Rafinha for offers exceeding €30 million, a figure that Arsenal should have no qualms shelling out.
It will now be interesting to see if the 24-year-old indeed departs from Camp Nou in search of regular game time, much like his brother Thiago, or continues plying his trade for Barcelona beyond the summer.