In Focus: Arsenal ready to revive Rafinha interest

According to Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal will revive their interest in Barcelona midfielder Rafinha when the January transfer window opens for business.

What’s the story?

Arsenal were strongly linked with a move for Rafinha during the summer, but could not come to an agreement with Barcelona over the transfer of the 24-year-old.

Rafinha, who is valued at £13.5m by transfermarkt.co.uk, is still recovering from the knee injury that saw him miss the end of last season, meaning that he has not yet featured under the leadership of Ernesto Valverde.

The midfielder’s father Mazinho claimed last month that the Brazilian would not be leaving Camp Nou at the start of 2018, but according to Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal will test Barcelona’s resolve with a move in the winter window.

It could be argued that Rafinha is similar to a number of players currently at the club, but with Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Jack Wilshere all out of contract at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, it would not be a surprise to see a midfielder arrive in January.

Would he be a good signing for Arsenal?

As mentioned, Rafinha missed the end of last season with a knee injury, but he did find the back of the net seven times in 28 appearances.

A loan spell at Celta Vigo during the 2013-14 campaign saw Rafinha return to Barcelona a better player, and he made 36 appearances for the Catalan giants during the 2014-15 season.

The 24-year-old is not said to be in the long-term plans of Valverde, however, which has led to suggestions of interest from Juventus and Liverpool.

Arsenal fans will feel that they need a presence in the middle of the park rather than another technically gifted midfielder, but Rafinha would bring class and flair to a team that are facing the possibility of missing out on the top four in the Premier League once again.

With Barcelona said to be keen to sell, there could well be a bargain available for the Gunners.