Barcelona ‘set price for Raphinha’ as Arsenal eye blockbuster deal

Arteta previews Arsenal's Premier League trip to Tottenham

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Barcelona want a fee of £88million to let Raphinha go amid interest from Arsenal, according to reports. The Brazil international was eyed at the Emirates Stadium last summer, only to end up moving to the Nou Camp instead. However, a return to the Premier League could be on the cards in the wake of the Gunners’ failure to sign Mykhaylo Mudryk – who is heading to Chelsea.

Barcelona signed Raphinha from Leeds back in the summer believing the Brazil international would be a huge hit over in La Liga.

Yet the forward has struggled for consistency during his time in Catalonia, scoring just two goals and clocking up as many assists from 15 La Liga games.

It’s now emerged that Arsenal are keen on Raphinha in the wake of their failure to acquire Mudryk, who is heading to Chelsea instead.

Yet according to Sport, Barcelona have slapped a huge £88m price tag on their winger in the hope that’ll deter potential suitors.

Xavi has regularly talked up Raphinha, backing him to come good and rediscover his best form.

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And Barcelona president Joan Laporta also wants to keep hold of the former Leeds star, who is still adjusting to life in his new surroundings.

Whether Arsenal agree to pay that amount remains to be seen, with the Gunners hoping to win the Premier League title.

However, should they cough up the cash, then Raphinha would become the most-expensive signing in their entire history.

Nicolas Pepe currently tops that list, with the Ivory Coast international costing them a massive £72m upon arriving from Lille in 2019.

Arsenal spent £56m on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January 2018, with the Gabon international replacing Alexis Sanchez.

In the summer of 2021, the north London giants forked out £50m to acquire Ben White from Brighton.

And they’ve also spent £45m and £46.5m on Gabriel Jesus and Alexandre Lacazette in recent years, too.

Speaking last year, Arsenal chief Edu opened up on the club’s failed pursuit of Raphinha and how the transfer saga played out.

“People think we went in too deep about Raphinha, because Raphinha was everywhere,” he told Sky Sports.

“It’s fair we did have some conversations with Deco because Deco is his agent and I have a good relationship [with him] – we are friends.

“I just said to Deco, ‘Can you explain to me the situation with Raphinha?’ and he was clear, ‘Edu, we have a good relationship but I’m not going to lie to you, his idea is to go to Barcelona because he’s dreaming to go to Barcelona, and we’ve been talking to Barcelona since a long time ago’.

“Okay, thank you very much, if something happens then just let me know because I can explore and understand the situation.

“If not, no problem and we carry on with our relationship.”

Regarding Mudryk, meanwhile, Gabriel Agbonlahor has claimed Chelsea have ‘financially bullied Arsenal’ to get the deal done.

“With this transfer, Chelsea have bullied Arsenal, they have financially bullied them,” said the former Aston Villa captain.

“They went over and spoke to his agent and probably told him, ‘We’ll give you [the agent] more, we’ll give the player more in wages and we’ll give the club more money up front’.

“Arsenal were maybe going to give him £100,000 or £150,000-a-week, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Chelsea offered him £250,000 or £300,000-a-week!

“Chelsea can just turn up with an open wallet and say, ‘What do you want?’

“I think it’s a good signing, but it’s going to hurt Arsenal and it’s going to hurt Arsenal fans.”

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