Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Brazilian international Rafinha Alcantara, who is set to be sold by Barcelona this summer.
According to a report from Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal are monitoring Barcelona midfielder Rafinha Alcantara with an eye on a summer swoop for the Brazilian.
The 27-year-old Rafinha is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. He made his first-team debut back in 2011, but has never been able to establish himself as a regular in the starting XI. Till date he has managed just 90 senior appearances, bagging 12 goals.
Last summer saw Barcelona send Rafinha out on loan to fellow La Liga outfit Celta Vigo. This is his second temporary spell with the Galician outfit, having spent the 2013-14 campaign at the club. In the ongoing campaign, the Brazilian has featured 27 times across all competitions, scoring and assisting two goals apiece.
Celta Vigo have the option of making Rafinha’s transfer permanent for a fee of €16 million. However, given the current financial circumstances, that might not be possible for the La Liga club. Barcelona, though, remain intent on offloading the 27-year-old, as they look to generate revenue to fund moves for their top targets, that includes Lautaro Martinez of Inter Milan.
This situation has piqued the interest of Arsenal, who have been keeping tabs on the midfielder for quite some time, according to the report. The Gunners will be in need of adding to their midfield department this summer, as Dani Ceballos looks set to return to Real Madrid upon the expiry of his loan spell.
In addition, there are question marks over the future of German playmaker Mesut Ozil, with his contract set to run out in 2021. Rafinha, to that end, would be a viable alternative, considering his ability to play in a multitude of positions in midfield and attack.
However, Arsenal may have to face competition from Inter Milan to secure the Brazilian international’s signing. The report states that Barcelona are also considering the possibility of using Rafinha as a makeweight in a deal to sign Martinez from the Serie A heavyweights.
The Nerazzurri too are open to such a scenario, while the midfielder himself might look to return to the club where he previously spent six months on loan in 2016.
As things stand, it seems pretty clear that Rafinha does not have a future at Barceloa. It now remains to be seen what the future holds for two-time capped Brazilian international, with Arsenal, Celta Vigo and Inter Milan all in contention to sign him this summer.