In a surprise move, Manchester City have identified Barcelona winger Raphinha as a priority transfer target as they seek a replacement for the departing Riyad Mahrez this summer.
This statement comes from journalist Santi Aouna of Foot Mercato, who reports that there have already been contacts between the two clubs regarding a possible transfer of the Brazilian international.
Raphinha joined Barcelona only last summer, arriving from Leeds United in a deal worth €65 million, including add-ons. The 26-year-old started slowly in Catalonia but finished his debut campaign strongly, playing a key role in the club’s La Liga triumph.
However, heading into the summer, Raphinha’s future has been a matter of speculation, largely due to Barcelona’s financial situation and their need to make some major sales.
Recent reports have suggested that the Brazil international has been attracting interest from Saudi Arabia, with an offer already on the table.
However, his main goal remains to continue with Barça, while coach Xavi Hernández also considers him “untouchable”.
But recent reports in Spain have suggested that the La Liga champions need to generate €60m in revenue to successfully book their new signings and contract renewals, and the sale of Raphinha could go a long way in this
Now, Manchester City have come forward as an interested party in securing the Brazilian’s services. With Mahrez looking likely to move to Saudi Arabia amid interest from Al-Ahli, the Premier League and European champions are looking for a replacement.
It had been suggested that Pep Guardiola’s team could look for internal solutions such as Phil Foden or Cole Palmer, but Santi Aouna reports that they have made Raphinha, whose market value stands at €60 million, the its main objective.
To this end, during the past week contacts have already been maintained between the director of Manchester City, Txiki Begiristain, and his Barcelona counterpart Deco.
It should be remembered that Barcelona have a serious interest in the pillar of Manchester City Bernardo Silva. And it will certainly be interesting to see if the Catalans would seek to take advantage of City’s search for Raphinha to get their hands on the Portuguese superstar.