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Raphinha: The Transfer Target for Man City and Arsenal

The Chase for Raphinha

The transfer market is heating up, and it seems that Manchester City and Arsenal are set to lock horns once again. This time, it’s not for the Premier League title, but for the signature of Barcelona’s Brazilian winger, Raphinha. The 26-year-old, who had a mixed first season in Spain, is reportedly on the radar of both clubs, with City looking to fill the void left by Riyad Mahrez.

Mahrez’s Departure Opens the Door

Mahrez, the 32-year-old Algerian international, has agreed terms with Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli, with a bid of €20 million on the table. His departure is likely to pave the way for Raphinha to make a switch to the Etihad. According to French outlet Foot Mercato, City have ‘prioritised’ the Brazilian, but they could face stiff competition from Arsenal, who have been long-time admirers of the player.

Arsenal’s Long-standing Admiration

Raphinha, who turned down Arsenal to join Barcelona last summer for €58m, is once again on the Gunners’ radar. Despite his preference to stay at Barca, a move to City could prove tempting, especially given the interest from other clubs. Arsenal, however, are keen to sign another right-sided forward to compete with Bukayo Saka, and Raphinha fits the bill perfectly.

Barcelona’s Financial Woes

Barcelona are reportedly willing to listen to offers for Raphinha as they grapple with their ongoing financial issues. The La Liga outfit needs to raise €60m by the end of August to register their new signings. With Chelsea and Saudi Arabian sides also showing interest, Raphinha is seen as a prime candidate to be sold.

The Future of Raphinha

Raphinha’s profile is said to appeal to City boss Pep Guardiola, and contact has been made between director Txiki Begiristain and Barca chief Deco over a potential move. However, Arsenal have also remained in touch with the player’s representatives, having reportedly tried to sign him in January. Any progress over a deal with City would likely pique the Gunners’ interest. The question remains: where will Raphinha end up?

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