Arsenal are reportedly considering a move for Rafinha, who is looking for a way out of Barcelona this month to enhance his World Cup prospects.
According to a report by Spanish publication Don Balon, Rafinha is eager to leave Barcelona in the winter transfer window in search of regular game time ahead of the coming summer’s World Cup. The Brazilian is the subject of interest from Arsenal, who are eyeing attacking reinforcements.
Rafinha is one of the most recent graduates from the fabled La Masia academy, who has managed to establish himself within the first-team setup at Barcelona. His progress has been uncannily slow though, with the player struggling to make himself as a regular fixture in the side since breaking into the senior squad in 2014.
2016-17 could be considered as his true breakthrough campaign for Barcelona, with Rafinha making 28 appearances before his season came to a premature end due to a long-term knee injury. The player is yet to return to the side this season, despite completing his recovery, and it looks like his Barcelona stint might be about to come to an end.
Rafinha wants to play in England. Arsenal are one of his options. [cat radio] pic.twitter.com/DJCas5ed6r
— BarcaSpiral (@BarcaSpiral) January 9, 2018
The 24-year-old is eager to secure regular game time in order to stake claim for a place in Brazil’s World Cup squad. At Barcelona, the prospect of playing regularly has decreased, owing to Paulinho’s blistering form, and his chances have taken a further hit upon the arrival of Philippe Coutinho.
With competition for places rising, things are starting to get complicated and Rafinha is looking for a way out, something that Arsenal are prepared to give him. Arsene Wenger is looking to bolster his attack this month, with Alexis Sanchez looking set to join Manchester City.
To make matters worse, Mesut Ozil’s Arsenal future is under a cloud as well, with no developments surrounding the renewal of a contract that is set to run out at the end of the season. With two of his most pivotal attackers close to the exit door, Wenger has entered the market for reinforcements.
The Arsenal manager has, thus, set his sights on Rafinha, who could be a fine long-term addition at the Emirates. While the Brazilian will definitely not be the only solution for the Gunners, his recruitment will be a step in the right direction.
Arsenal do have some competition in pursuit of the player though, with Inter Milan and Celta Vigo also eyeing him for a move this month. But, the report suggests that Rafinha would prefer joining the North London club, and it remains to be seen if the move sees the light of the day.