A trio of Premier League clubs are hot on the heels of Brazilian winger Raphinha, who may leave Camp Nou just 12 months after his high-profile arrival at the club.
Leaving Leeds for Catalonia last summer, the Brazilian has contributed six goals and four assists in La Liga so far this campaign, and he remains a valuable option for Xavi.
They fought off both Chelsea and Arsenal to land the 24-year-old in a deal worth in excess of £60m, one of several big-name arrivals last season. The result has been dramatic, with Barca on the verge of lifting the La Liga title once more this season.
But the Catalan club are in financial disarray once more despite their many levers economic activated last summer, and need to make money via sales to balance the books this summer.
At the beginning of March, La Liga president Javier Tebas revealed that ‘As of today, Barcelona doesn’t have any room in its budget to spend in the upcoming transfer window’.
‘Barcelona has been involved in questionable behaviour which has had an impact on LaLiga and we are acting accordingly. We have ruled that they can no longer sign more players”.
‘In the case of Barcelona, they have to drop spending on wages and transfers from £532m to £399m (€650m to €450m), so it’s a budget of minus £177m (€200m).
It could mean that one of their attackers could be available, and Raphinha is reportedly weighing up a move away as he fears falling further down the pecking order.
According to Spanish outlet Sport, Chelsea currently lead the way for the Brazilian, with Newcastle United and Arsenal also both interested in the winger. The Blues are using their relationship with Raphinha’s agent Deco, who spent two seasons with the Blues, to attempt to lure him to Stamford Bridge, 12 months after their move was hijacked by Barca.
Currently in crisis, Chelsea have already signed Noni Madueke on the right flank this year, but with all of Hakim Ziyech, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Christian Pulisic set to leave this summer, a spot in their frontline may open up.