Barcelona to consider offers for Raphinha
Raphinha celebrates his goal during the match between FC Barcelona and Real Betis at Spotify Camp Nou on April 29, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Signing from Leeds United for over €60 million, Raphinha’s time at Barcelona could be over sooner rather than later.
The Brazilian has had a good debut season with the Catalan side but their financial situation continues to loom and might have them looking to cash in.
However, Raphinha himself may be open to a move.
Given it seems to take a player a season to acclimate himself to Barcelona, Raphinha has adapted quicker than most. While not an outright starter earlier in the season, Raphinha gained Xavi Hernandez’s trust the more the season went on and has become an undisputed starter.
Part of that, of course, had to do with the disappointing performance from Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres as well as Ousmane Dembélé’s injury.
With Barcelona’s transfer strategy out in the open, Raphinha, despite pushing to join Barcelona and shunning other clubs, does not feel assured of his place in the team.
There is no secret the club is working on the return of Lionel Messi. Couple that with Dembélé’s return, it should come as no surprise the Brazilian is starting to see that his playing time might be diminished come next season.
He hasn’t exactly been shy when it comes to voicing his frustration over a lack of playing time. On a handful of occasions when he’s been subbed off, he very publicly stormed to the bench, leading to him issuing an apology the first time it happened though it didn’t stop.
Before that, he expressed to Xavi that he preferred to play on the right of the attack instead of the left. When Dembélé was healthy, Raphinha played on the left and his performances left much to be desired.
Again, Barcelona need to sell players to not only try to sign Messi, but to comply with Financial Fair Play and the wage limit as well. Fortunately for Joan Laporta, there are a couple of Premier League clubs interested in the Brazilian.
Newcastle United and Chelsea have reportedly set their sights on Raphinha with the latter being beaten out last season by Barcelona for his services. Newcastle are having a good season in the Premier League, in prime position to finish in the top 4 and have a place in the Champions League.
They’ll be looking to strengthen their squad and with their new ownership, would be in a position to offer a good amount for Raphina.
As it stands, Barcelona would be willing to listen to offers starting at around €80 million.
As with any possible sale, there are pros and cons.
A pro would be Barcelona getting more for Raphinha than what they paid. It would be a profit and a rarity for the club in recent history. It would also open up a spot in case they pulled off the Messi move.
The con is they would be letting go of a player who had a successful debut season and once again hoping Dembélé can stay healthy for an entire season. Even if they bring back Messi, the attack would be a rather old one when taking Robert Lewandowski into account. A problem they were already dealing with when Luis Suarez was still on the team.
While Xavi would prefer to keep him, the club may be forced to sell for some of the reasons stated above. They would rather sell Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati first but with Raphinha open to a move and clubs apparently interested, Barcelona may receive an offer they simply cannot refuse.