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Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur to battle Saudi Arabian clubs for Raphinha?

Arsenal, Tottenham to battle Saudi Arabian clubs for Raphinha?
© Reuters
Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur could battle clubs from Saudi Arabia for Barcelona forward Raphinha this summer, according to a report.

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly ready to battle clubs from Saudi Arabia for the signature of Barcelona forward Raphinha during this summer's transfer window.

The 27-year-old has had his injury problems during the 2023-24 campaign but has still managed to score five goals and register 10 assists in 28 appearances for Xavi's side in all competitions.

Raphinha penned a five-year deal with Barcelona upon his arrival from Leeds United in July 2022, and he has contributed 15 goals and 22 assists in 78 appearances for the Catalan outfit in all competitions.

There remains ongoing speculation surrounding the Brazil international's future, though, as Barcelona's financial problems have led to claims that the club would consider high offers for him at the end of the season.

According to Sport, Barcelona have received a substantial offer from Saudi Arabia for Raphinha, with the transfer package said to be worth in excess of €80m (£68.6m).

Barcelona's Raphinha in action with Atletico Madrid's Rodrigo Riquelme on December 3, 2023© Reuters

The report claims that Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, Al-Ittihad and Al-Ahli are all interested in signing the South American, who could be tempted to Saudi Arabia due to the significant money on offer.

However, a separate report from the same publication claims that both Arsenal and Tottenham are keen to bring him back to the Premier League during this summer's transfer window.

Raphinha started his professional career with Vitoria de Guimaraes in Portugal before moving to Sporting Lisbon, spending one season with the club ahead of a switch to Rennes in 2019.

The attacker's form for Rennes in 2019-20 led to Leeds signing him in October 2020, and he managed 17 goals and 12 assists in 67 appearances for the Whites in all competitions.

Raphinha in action for Barcelona on October 4, 2022© Reuters

A number of clubs were linked with his services in the summer of 2022, but Barcelona won the race for his signature, allegedly paying an additional £50m for the forward, with a further £5m in add-ons.

Raphinha has registered assists in his last two appearances for Xavi's side, setting up Fermin Lopez to score against Napoli in the Champions League on March 12, before providing for Robert Lewandowski in Barcelona's impressive 3-0 success over Atletico Madrid in La Liga last weekend.

Barcelona are expected to have to make at least a couple of big sales during this summer's transfer window due to their ongoing financial problems.

Ronald Araujo and Frenkie de Jong are among the players to be linked with exits, but it is believed that both will stay at the club this summer despite the speculation.

Raphinha's future remains the subject of transfer talk, with a switch to Saudi Arabia or a return to the Premier League seemingly a possibility during the upcoming window.

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