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SUMMER TRANSFER: Arsenal move for £55m star ‘not impossible’ at the Emirates

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Arsenal could still make a surprise summer transfer move for former target Raphinha, transfer insider Dean Jones revealed to Gunners247.

The Gunners were one of several top European clubs eyeing up a move for the ex-Leeds United star last year and Jones hasn’t ruled out Arsenal reigniting their interest.

Having ditched Yorkshire for Catalonia last summer, Raphinha put pen to paper on a deal with Barcelona, costing the La Liga side a reported £55 million (Sky Sports).

Raphinha had been instrumental in helping Leeds stay in the Premier League, but ended up joining Barcelona in mid-July, while also dubbing the transfer “a dream come true”.

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It came after an intense transfer saga involving Barcelona, along with Chelsea and of course Arsenal.

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A report by The Athletic in June 2022 suggested Arsenal had earmarked Raphinha as their primary summer target and were looking to step up their efforts to sign the Brazilian international.

Of course, a move to north London didn’t materialise for the tricky forward, who ended up signing on the dotted line for Barcelona instead.

However, after a rocky start to life in Spain, there are suggestions that Arsenal’s interest in Raphinha could still be rekindled this summer.

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What has Dean Jones said about Arsenal’s interest in Raphinha?

Speaking in an interview with Gunners247, transfer insider Jones admitted Mikel Arteta and Co. retained an interest in the ex-Leeds man, but suggested any move was unlikely to come this year.

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On the 26-year-old, Jones said: “I don’t think it’s impossible they go for Raphinha.

“But I don’t know if it’s likely that it ends up happening. I mean, Raphinha clearly wants a future at Barcelona.

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“I think he’s been pretty clear about that himself. I think it’s a bit of a failure if he was to leave there already.”

How has Raphinha been performing this season?

As Jones alludes to, it hasn’t been the maiden La Liga campaign Raphinha would’ve dreamt of after securing his move to Barcelona.

It hasn’t been for lack of opportunities in the Blaugrana side, with the 16-cap Brazilian forward having featured 38 times (Transfermarkt).

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Within those 38 games, Raphinha has mustered up a modest nine goals, indicating he has played a helpful hand, but also suggesting there could still be more to come.

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It’s clear the attacking threat is there for Raphinha, with the attacker ranking inside the top 10 per cent of players in his position for shots averaged per 90 minutes (FBref).

Harnessing such qualities will be the next job of Barcelona boss Xavi, should he wish to get the most out of Raphinha going forward.

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