According to Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal are eying up a move for Barcelona playmaker Rafinha, if Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez leave next summer.
The pair are out of contract in the summer and are expected to leave for pastures new. That means that the Gunners will receive no transfer fee for either player unless they are sold in January.
Rafinha is highly rated but injury-prone
The 24-year-old and comes from a football family. The midfielder is the brother of Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara and the son of former Brazilian international Mazinho.
The midfielder is a current Brazilian international and rated highly by current club Barcelona. He has also represented Spain at youth and junior level, as he holds dual nationality.
Rafinha may be highly rated, but his career has been hampered by injury. He has not played for the Catalan giants due to injury but is expected to return to action at the end of this month.
May be available
However, with Barcelona is good form, it is unclear if the former Celta Vigo loanee will be able to force his way into Ernesto Valverde’s starting line-up. I doubt the Catalan giants would be keen to sell the midfielder.
However, if he was not getting first-team football and asked for a move then it would be difficult to see the Catalan giants standing in his way.
Barcelona will be keen to recoup a good size fee and probably also a buy-back in Rafinha’s contract if of course they decided to sell the Brazilian star.
If Rafinha were on the market, Arsenal would also probably face stiff opposition from elsewhere for the midfielder, because of his reputation as a rising star in the European game.
Arsenal facing a summer headache
If both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez leave in the summer on free transfers, Arsenal will have to pay big fees to replace the pair. Rafinha is not likely to come cheaply, while a replacement for Sanchez is unlikely to be cheap either.
It seems like poor financial management by the club. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has stated that keeping Alexis Sanchez is a gamble. With the Gunners not enjoying the best of seasons, that gamble could go either way.
Arsenal and Wenger are not a club that splashes the cash. Usually, they only sign one big money player a summer. This summer they may need to change that to two, as they look set to lose two huge assets.
Would Rafinha be a good signing for Arsenal?