Arsenal plot swoop for South American, player keen on January move

By on October 9, 2017

According to a report in the Express, Arsenal are showing a keen interest in signing unsettled Barcelona attacker Rafinha as a potential replacement for Mesut Ozil.

Rafinha has been with Barcelona his entire career having progressed through the famous La Masia youth academy but has struggled to hold down a regular first team place since breaking in to the full squad.

The 24-year-old started just 16 games last season and isn’t expected to be a regular under new boss Ernesto Valverde when he returns from a knee ligament injury in December.

The Brazilian international was heavily linked with a move away from the Nou Camp during the summer and the Express claims Rafinha is now ready to push for a move when the transfer window re-opens in January.

The newspaper cites a report from SuperDeporte that says the attacker wants to leave Barca to help boost his chances of making the Brazil squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

And the outlet claims that Arsenal are keen to offer Rafinha a fresh start in north London after Arsene Wenger identified him as a potential long-term replacement for Ozil.

Our German playmaker is out of contract at the end of the season and doesn’t look likely to sign an extension so we desperately need to strengthen our attacking options and it seems Rafinha is on the bosses radar.

The South American is a central midfielder but can also play as an attacking right-back so he’d give Wenger plenty of options if we were able to lure him to the Emirates this winter.

However, we’ll face some stiff competition as the Express claims that AC Milan are also showing a strong interest with the Serie A giants lining-up a loan deal with an option to buy next summer.