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Arsenal will be “looking into” Raphinha deal

Arsenal will be looking at signing FC Barcelona star Raphinha this month, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Gunners came close to securing the Brazilian’s signature during the summer transfer window before he opted for a dream move to the Nou Camp but things haven’t worked out since, with the former Leeds United phenom struggling for regular minutes.

As a result, the 26-year-old winger – who cost £55m – has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium once again – according to 90min, Arsenal have made contact with the LaLiga giants to explore the possibility of a deal.

Speaking about the links, O’Rourke told Football FanCast:

“I’m sure they’re looking into it and due to Barcelona’s ongoing financial situation, it’s a deal that maybe Arsenal see as feasible.

“Obviously, a lot depends on the player and there are reports that suggest he is happy to stay at Barcelona until the end of the season.”

Should Arsenal swoop for Raphinha this month?

YES!

YES!

NO!

NO!

After missing out on a move for Mykhaylo Mudryk only last week, with top-flight rivals Chelsea snatching him at the last minute by paying an eye-watering £61.6m, Raphinha could be a viable alternative.

His time in the Premier League was rather shortlived but across 65 appearances, he managed to provide 17 goals and 12 assists, as per Transfermarkt.

Despite not playing regularly under Xavi Hernandez, the “frightening” Brazil international – in the words of WhoScored’s Martin Laurence – still has that prolific and creative touch in the final third, having averaged a goal contribution every 138 minutes in a Blaugrana shirt this season.

What makes him a great fit for manager Mikel Arteta and his league-leading system in north London is his comparable nature to both Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, the Gunners’ two wide starters.

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Arsenal are top at Christmas but when was the last time they won the league title from this position?

FBref liken Raphinha to the Arsenal pair in terms of statistical profile, adding a defensive work rate to his clear magic touch in attack. When compared to fellow attacking midfielders and wingers across Europe’s top five leagues, the Barca whiz ranks inside the top 2% for blocks, as well as the top 18% for clearances and interceptions per 90, over the last year.

It remains to be seen how much Raphinha – who was once hailed as a “magician” by ex-Whites teammate Daniel James – would cost in terms of either a transfer or loan but in the Gunners’ desperate search for frontline reinforcements, they could do little wrong in luring him to the Emirates Stadium this month.

AND in other news, KSE must avoid Mudryk repeat with £80m “monster” who’d take Arsenal to “another level”